Pituitary gland : functions and importance

Pituitary gland

Pituitary gland

Pituitary gland is an important endocrine gland in the body. Pituitary gland is very small in size measures the size of Pea nut. Pituitary gland is an external protrusion from the hypothalamus, situated in the bony cavity called sella turcica. The pituitary gland locates in the pituitary fossa, situated in the sphenoid bone in middle cranial fossa. Pituitary gland is the master gland among endocrine glands because pituitary controls the functions of the other endocrine glands

The pituitary gland secretes several hormones and maintains homeostasis of the body,  and produces tropical hormones which stimulate other endocrine glands to release certain hormones. Pituitary gland  is functionally connected to the hypothalamus. Adenohypophysis and neurohypophysis are the two lobes of the pituitary gland. Adenohypophysis is also called as anterior pituitary gland and neurohypophysis is called as posterior pituitary gland. Each lobes have different functions and secretes different hormones.

The  anterior pituitary gland synthesizes and secretes important endocrine hormones, which includes ACTH, TSH, PRL, GH (growth hormone), FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) , and LH (luteinizing hormone). These hormones are released from the anterior pituitary regulated by hypothalamus. Hypothalamic hormones are secreted to the anterior lobe by a special capillary system.

Oxytocin and Antidiuretic hormone are the hormones secreted by posterior pituitary.  ADH helps in maintaining water balance in the body and Oxytocin helps in contraction of uterus during labor or child birth and maintains lactation in mother.

Intermediate lobe is the lobe of thin layer between anterior and posterior pituitary gland. This gland is related to melanocytes and controls skin pigmentation.

Hormones  plays a major role in maintaining various bio chemical changes in the body. Some hormones are released when an individual grown up or attains puberty. It has been proved that love, affairs and some emotional changes occurs because of hormones produced by pituitary gland. Hormones produced during young age regulates the desire to love, affection, etc. Steroids or steroid hormone leads to  puberty and physiological changes in the body.

Functions of pituitary gland

  • Growth regulation,
  • Controls Blood pressure,
  • Uterine contraction with release of oxytocin during labor,
  • Maintains pregnancy with some hormones,
  • Production of milk from mammary glands,
  • Regulates thyroid function,
  • Helps in metabolism of food,
  • Osmolarity regulation, etc are main functions of pituitary gland.

So the pituitary gland is the important gland has various functions in the body.

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