The pituitary gland is a part of your endocrine system. Its main function is to secrete hormones into your bloodstream. the pituitary gland is sometimes referred to as the master gland. The pituitary gland regulates several glands, including the thyroid, ovaries, testicles, and adrenal glands. These hormones can affect other organs and glands, especially your Thyroid, Reproductive Organs, and Adrenal glands.
It is located inside a bony structure named sella turcica present at the base of the brain. It s under the brain and right behind the bridge of the nose and It is divided into three parts, also called lobes:
- Anterior pituitary.
- Intermediate pituitary.
- Posterior pituitary.
Pituitary Gland Function
Anterior Pituitary Hormones
The anterior pituitary is responsible for the synthesis and secretion of several key hormones in the body. These hormones include:
- Human Growth Hormone: Responsible for the growth and repair of all cells in the body.
- Thyroid Stimulating Hormone: Influences the thyroid gland for the release of thyroxine, its hormone. TSH is also called Thyrotropin.
- Adrenocorticotropic Hormone: Influences the adrenal gland to release Cortisol or the “stress hormone”. ACTH is also known as corticotropin.
- Luteinising Hormone (LH) and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone: Collectively known as Gonadotropins, LH, and FSH control the sexual and reproductive characteristics in males and females.
- Prolactin (PRL): Produces milk in the breast. Though it is present at all times, the secretion is increased during and just after pregnancy.
- Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone: Involved in the stimulation of the production of melanin by skin and hair.
Posterior Pituitary Hormones
The posterior pituitary is responsible for the storage and secretion of two very important hormones:
- Antidiuretic Hormone: Controls the water balance of the body by affecting the reabsorption of water by the kidneys
- Oxytocin: Controls certain aspects of pregnancy and childbirth such as uterine contraction and production of milk.
Some of the disorders of the pituitary gland are acromegaly, gigantism, pituitary dwarfism, etc. Acromegaly and gigantism occur due to over secretion of growth hormone, whereas pituitary dwarfism occurs due to low secretion of growth hormone. Low secretion of ADH causes diabetes insipidus.