USMLE

Anterior Pituitary

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Endocrine & Hormones
  1. Leptin
  2. Ghrelin
  3. Protein Hormones
  4. Steroid Hormones
  5. Insulin
  6. Diabetes
  7. Glucagon
  8. Epinephrine
  9. Cortisol
  10. Thyroid Hormones
  11. Calcitonin
  12. Parathyroid Hormone (PTH)
  13. Anterior Pituitary
  14. Prolactin
  15. Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
  16. Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
  17. Growth Hormone (GH)
  18. Posterior Pituitary

Summary

The anterior pituitary is an endocrine organ which produces a variety of different hormones. Hormone release by the anterior pituitary is regulated by another set of hormones produced by the hypothalamus. These hypothalamic hormones travel through the hypophyseal portal system, a network of capillaries, to reach the anterior pituitary and stimulate hormone release. The anterior pituitary releases six major hormones that affect various parts of the body. They are Follicle stimulating hormone or FSH, Luteinizing hormone or LH, Adrenocorticotropic hormone or ACTH, Thyroid stimulating hormone or TSH, Growth hormone or GH, and Prolactin.

Key Points

  • Anterior Pituitary
    • One of two lobes of pituitary gland, located beneath the Hypothalamus
    • Regulated by Hypothalamus
      • By hormones in hypophyseal portal system
        • blood capillaries that enable hormones secreted from the hypothalamus to directly reach the anterior pituitary without being diluted in the circulation
    • Glandular tissue releases 6 peptide hormones
      • Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
        • Stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles and spermatogenesis
      • Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
        • Acts on ovaries to stimulates the production of estrogen in females
        • Acts on testes to stimulate the production of testosterone in males
      • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH)
        • Acts on adrenal gland to stimulate the production of cortisol
      • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
        • Acts on thyroid gland to stimulate the production of thyroid hormones T3 and T4s
      • Growth Hormone (GH)
        • Directly acts to stimulates muscle, bone, and other cell growth
      • Prolactin
        • Directly stimulates the production of milk from mammary glands
      • β-endorphins