The pituitary gland is also known as the "hypophysis" and is an important endocrine gland in the human body.
Endocrine glands differ from "exocrine" glands in that exocrine glands have ducts (so may be referred to as "ducted") whereas endocrine glands do not have ducts (and so may be referred to as "ductless").
The pituitary gland is a pea-sized unit connected beneath the hypothalamus. It is protected by the bony cavity in which it is located at the base of the skull.
The pituitary gland consists of several lobes, including an anterior lobe ("adenohypophysis") and a posterior lobe ("neurohypophysis"). This is just a few short notes - for more detailed information see study notes about the pituitary gland.
Hormones secreted by the pituitary gland include:
- Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
- Adrenocorticotropihic hormone (ACTH)
- Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
- Prolactin (PRL)
- Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone (MSH)
- Anti-Diuretic Hormone (ADH)
For a diagram indicating the locations within the body of each of the endocrine glands, see Endocrine Glands of the Human Body.
- Introduction to the Endocrine System
- What is a hormone ?
- Water Soluble Hormones vs Fat Soluble Hormones
- Triggers for Hormone Release
- Hormone Regulation Feedback Mechanism
- Major Glands of the Endocrine System
- The Pituitary Gland
- The Adrenal Glands
- Non-endocrine tissues that release hormones
- Conditions of the Endocrine System