Pituitary gland

Sometimes referred to as the master gland, the pituitary is the most important endocrine gland. It regulates and controls the activities of other endocrine glands and many body processes. The pituitary gland is a pea-sized structure attached by a stalk of nerve fibres to the hypothalamus. The anterior lobe produces growth hormone; prolactin; ACTH; TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone), which stimulates hormone production by the thyroid gland; the gonadotrophins FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone); and melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH), which controls darkening of the skin. The posterior pituitary secretes ADH and oxytocin.


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