Human Body is such a complex & beautiful creation. Every part of human body is working in an organized manner. How come this happen?

Well! Work is distributed among each & every organ of the body. But how come they are controlled for doing any function?

Now if you are recalling the concept of hormones which are the signaling molecule of body then you are right. Hormones are released from specific glands in the body. There are many glands present in the body like thyroid, parathyroid, thymus & adrenal glands etc.

You know all these glands are also controlled by their master glands. Yes! Right! I am talking about Pituitary gland.

Let’s discuss more about this gland.

Being a chief gland of body, pituitary controls most of the glands like thyroid, ovaries, gonads & adrenal glands etc.  Its size is like a size of pea. It is present at the base of the brain & nearby hypothalamus (Fig A).


If you can see this picture clearly (Fig A), you will observe; Pituitary gland consists of two main lobes viz. Front part (anterior pituitary or adenohypophysis) & back part (posterior pituitary or neurohypophysis).

Both of these parts secrete different hormones & so affect different parts of body. Other than these two parts, one more intermediate part is also there in Pituitary gland.

Pituitary gland is attached to the hypothalamus with the help of a stalk known as infundibulum.

Hypothalamus obtains info from many resources about basic functions of body.  All functions of those organs are controlled in return.  How come this happen?

PG-2Well! Hypothalamus controls pituitary gland by releasing its own hormones & Pituitary gland being master gland controls further glands of body.

Hypothalamus produces two kinds of hormones viz. releasing or inhibiting hormone. E.g. If the level of thyrotropin is decreasing, then hypothalamus will release TRH (thyrotropin releasing hormone). TRH then moves to pituitary gland & stimulate it to secrete TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone).  Now this TSH moves to thyroid gland & it gives signal to thyroid gland to release T3.T4 hormone.  In case, if level of T3, T4 is increasing. It is detected by hypothalamus. This is known as negative feedback. It prevents further secretion of T3, T4 hormone. (Fig B)

Hormones released by Anterior Pituitary
Hormone  Target Function
Adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) Adrenal glands On stimulation by ACTH, adrenal gland secretes cortisol. This hormone controls metabolism, level of blood sugar & blood pressure. Cortisol is anti-inflammatory agent also. During bleeding or fasting, it helps to resist stress.
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) Ovaries -women

Testicles (testes) – men

Ovaries are stimulated & it results in egg production. It also results in estrogen production. .

A testis is stimulated to produce sperm.

Growth hormone (GH) Many different cells of the body It helps in increasing height in children. It helps in controlling level of fats & muscles in body.  It strengthens the immune system of body.
Luteinising hormone (LH) Ovaries – women

Testes – men

It triggers ovulation for the release of egg.
On stimulation, a testis produces testosterone.
Melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) Skin & hair It causes darkening of skin. It also affects brain for hungriness & sexual stimulation.
Prolactin Breasts It stimulates breasts to produce milk. .
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) Thyroid gland Do I need to mention its story again? Well I just did few min before 😛

Well! It controls many of the functions of body. E.g. temperature, heart rate & metabolism etc.

Hormones released by Posterior Pituitary
Hormone Target Function
Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) or Vasopressin Kidneys Urine production is decreased with the help of this hormone. Reabsorption of water occurs to maintain the level of water in body due to this hormone.
ADH also causes a rise in blood pressure.
Oxytocin Breasts and uterus During childbirth contraction of uterus occurs due to it. Milk production also occurs due to it.


This can go wrong with Pituitary gland…..

Benign growth (tumor) can be there. This condition is known as adenoma. It involves excess of hormonal production or hormonal production can be completely stopped.  In later case this gland can become absolutely nonfunctioning.

Some of other disorders related to Pituitary gland are acromegaly, Cushing’s syndrome, prolactinoma etc.

So guys! This information is going to be very fruitful for you I bet.  If you want to get more of the information over hormones & glands of body, you can jump into this link.

If any doubt strikes your mind, anytime. Drop that over this link.

Thank you for sticking to this article. If you don’t know me; I am Anjali Ahuja; a member from the pool of askIITians.  We always try to provide best of study material to you guys.  Yes we have created that!

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