pituitary body

pituitary body defined in 1951 year

pituitary body - Endocrine gland beneath floor of brain, within skull, of vertebrates. Secretes a number of hormones (9 identified with fair reliability), all proteins or glycoproteins. Has two main components: the neuro-hypophysis (pars nervosa), embryologically derived from the brain (See also: Infundibulum); and the adenohypophysis (pars distalis and pars intermedia), embryologically derived from the hypophysis in the narrow sense. The term anterior pituitary or anterior lobe means the pars distalis; the term posterior pituitary or posterior lobe means the pars nervosa often plus the pars intermedia, these two parts being closely fused. The pars nervosa secretes oxytocin and antidiuretic hormone (ADH); these hormones are formed in neurones of the hypothalamus and passed down axons into the pars nervosa where they are stored. The pars distalis produces 6 hormones: follicle-stimulating, luteinizing, lactogenic, AGTH, thyrotropic and growth hormone (somatotropic hormone, STH); its activities are influenced by hormones from the hypothalamus. The pars intermedia (absent in birds and some mammals) produces inter-medin, concerned with changing skin colour in fish, amphibia and reptiles.

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