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Other Terms: Pituitary, Hypophysis cerebri, Hypophysis, Glandula pituitaria, Hypophyse, Pituitäre Drüse
The pituitary is a small, single, ovoid gland formed of two parts: the anterior or adenohypophysis, and the posterior or neurohypophysis. It is attached to the end of the infundibulum and is located in the interior of the skull within the cavity of the sphenoid bone known as the sella turcica. Regulated by the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland controls the hormonal secretions of the other glands in the body.
The adenohypophysis is the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland. It contains a series of glandular cells that, when stimulated by the neurosecretory substances produced in the hypothalamus, secrete different types of hormones which regulate other glands and act on specific tissues such as the thyroid (thyroid stimulating), adrenal cortex (adenocorticotropic) or sexual glands (follicle stimulating and luteinizing), as well as a growth-regulating hormone.
The neurohypophysis is the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland. It is attached to the hypothalamus by nerve fibers from the nervous centers of the hypothalamus. It produces two different hormones: the antidiuretic hormone (vasopressin) to regulate the kidney, and oxytocin to control childbirth and breastfeeding in women.