Introduction to Pituitary Hormones

Introduction to Pituitary Hormones

Author: Aaron Mullally

- know what the term trophic means

- know what tropes are

- know the hormones that the anterior pituitary is responsible for synthesizing and secreting

- know the names of the cells that synthesize and secrete their specific hormones

- know which hormones the posterior pituitary gland secretes

- start to gain an understanding of why, functionally, the pituitary gland is called the "master gland"

This packet introduces the hormones that the pituitary gland is responsible for secreting. I will go over each hormone with more depth in other packets.

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Overview of Pituitary Hormones

The pituitary gland secretes 8 different hormones into the bloodstream, 6 from the anterior lobe and 2 from the posterior lobe. The pituitary gland is nicknamed the "master gland" of the endocrine system because of the control these hormones have on all of our major glands. In turn, the pituitary gland influences and controls almost all aspects of our metabolism and plays an integral role in homeostasis.

The cells of the anterior pituitary are called tropes and produce what are called trophic hormones. The term trophic means the hormones' target tissues are other glands (except GH). These trophic hormones regulate/control the metabolic activites of their specific glands. Inevitably they increase the metabolic activity of their glands i.e. increase synthesis and secretion of hormones.

The anterior lobe of the pituitary synthesizes and secretes six different hormones; here is a brief description of their functions:

Growth Hormone (GH): promotes growth of tissues by increasing protein synthesis within cells. Growth hormone stimulates the usage of fat and spares carbohydrates. It has its greatest affects on muscle, the liver and bone. This is the only hormone that carries out its effect direcly on this tissues of the body without controlling another gland.

Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH): controls secretion of hormones from the adrenal cortex which affect glucose, mineral and fat metabolism.

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH): controls the rate of secretion of thyroid hormone (TH) from the thyroid gland. Thyroid hormone affects the rates of chemical reactions within the body, increases basal metabolic rate (BMR)

Prolactin: stimulates mammary glands to produce milk

Gonadotropins: follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) control growth rate of the ovaries and testis, ovum & sperm production, ovulation, and other metabolic activities of the gonads

The posterior pituitary gland only secretes two hormones:

Antidiuretic hormone (ADH of vasopressin): lowers the amount of water that is excreted through urine by the kidneys thus allowing the body to retain more water. This hormone is secreted when we are dehydrated and our osmolarity rises

Oxytocin: stimulates the ejection of milk from mammary glands and plays a role in labor contractions during parturition (labor)

Source: Mind of Aaron

Overview of Pituitary Hormones

This video goes over the new terms trophic and tropes and introduces all of the hormones that are secreted by the pituitary gland

Source: Self made

List of Hormones

Source: Self made