posterior pituitary

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Related to posterior pituitary gland: anterior pituitary gland, gastrulation, hypothalamus, thyroid gland


1. pertaining to the pituitary gland.
3. a preparation of the pituitary glands of animals, used therapeutically.
pituitary gland an endocrine gland located at the base of the brain in a small recess of the sphenoid bone called the sella turcica. It is attached by the hypophyseal stalk to the hypothalamus and is divided into an anterior lobe (the adenohypophysis) and a posterior lobe (the neurohypophysis), which differ in embryological function and origin. Called also hypophysis.

The adenohypophysis originates from epithelial tissue. The adenohypophysis secretes six important hormones: growth hormone, thyroid-stimulating hormone or thyrotropin, adrenocorticotropic hormone or corticotropin, prolactin, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone. Most of these hormones are tropic hormones, which regulate the growth, development, and proper functioning of other endocrine glands and are of vital importance to the growth, maturation, and reproduction of the individual. Secretion of the anterior pituitary hormones is controlled by releasing and inhibiting hormones produced by the hypothalamus. Information gathered by the nervous system about the well-being of an individual is collected in the hypothalamus and used to control the secretion of hormones by the pituitary gland. The hypothalamic releasing and inhibiting hormones are transported to the pituitary gland by way of the hypothalamic-hypophyseal portal system in which the hypothalamic venules connect with the capillaries of the anterior pituitary.

The neurohypophysis originates from neural tissue; it stores and secretes two hormones, oxytocin and vasopressin (antidiuretic hormone). These hormones are synthesized in the cell bodies of neurons located in the hypothalamus and transported along the axons to the terminals located in the neurohypophysis and are released in response to neural stimulation.

Surgical removal of part or all of the pituitary gland is called hypophysectomy and is usually done for treatment of a pituitary tumor. Because of its influence on the adrenal cortex and other endocrine glands, removal of the pituitary gland has widespread effects on the body. See hypophysectomy.
The pituitary gland and its relationship to the hypothalamus.
posterior pituitary neurohypophysis.

pos·te·ri·or pi·tu·i·tar·y

the cleaned, dried, and powdered posterior lobe obtained from the pituitary body of domestic animals used for food by humans; an oxytocic, vasoconstrictor, antidiuretic, and stimulant of intestinal motility.
References in periodicals archive ?
These tumors derive from specialized glial cells in the posterior pituitary gland, but by the time of detection an anterior versus posterior origin is usually not discernible or a distinguishing feature.
Case 112: Pituitary stalk transection syndrome with ectopic posterior pituitary gland. Radiology 2007;243(2):594-597.
After all of the ADH stored in the damaged part of the posterior pituitary gland has been released, hyponatremic phase ends.
The posterior pituitary gland is made up predominantly of neural tissue; in particular the axons of neurons, which originate in the hypothalamus and terminate near the capillaries.
This inability could result from injury to the hypothalamus, the supraoptic hypophyseal tract, or the posterior pituitary gland (Hickey, 2003).
These results are similar to the staining pattern that we have observed for GFAP in normal posterior pituitary gland. The unreactivity for GFAP in the tumor cells is unusual but not unheard of in pituicytomas.

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