Anterior Pituitary Hormones

Anterior Pituitary Hormones

The anterior pituitary is about three quarters of the pituitary gland (McKinley, 2013). It is separated into three different areas. The first area is the pars distalis. It is the “large anterior rounded portion of the anterior pituitary” (McKinley, 2013). The second area is called the pars tuberalis, which is the thin wrapping all the way around the infundibulum (McKinley, 2013). The last area of the anterior pituitary is the pars intermedia. It is a little region between the pars distalis and the posterior pituitary (McKinley, 2013). With all of this said, there are certain regulatory hormones in the hypothalamus that affect the anterior pituitary. Hypothalamic regulatory hormones affect the secretion of anterior pituitary hormones by releasing hormones and inhibiting hormones. Anterior Pituitary Hormones .

The first effect for hypothalamic regulatory hormones secreting anterior pituitary hormones is releasing hormones. Releasing hormones help produce and secrete anterior pituitary hormones (McKinley, 2013). The hypothalamus hormones are released to the primary plexus and transported to the hypophyseal portal vein (McKinley, 2013). Then the hormones are sent to the secondary plexus to the anterior pituitary. The anterior pituitary releases the hormones into the blood so it can reach the target cells (McKinley, 2013). The releasing hormones for the anterior pituitary are growth, prolactin, corticotropin, gonadotropin, and thyrotropin (“Overview of Hypothalamic”, 2014). Anterior Pituitary Hormones

The second effect for hypothalamic regulatory hormones secreting anterior pituitary hormones is inhibiting hormones. Inhibiting hormones “deter the production and secretion of specific anterior pituitary hormones” (McKinley, 2013). These hormones are also released from the hypothalamus, but instead control the release of the anterior pituitary hormones (McKinley, 2013). The inhibiting hormones for the anterior pituitary are growth hormone and prolactin (“Overview of Hypothalamic”, 2014).


The anterior pituitary hormones affected by the hypothalamic hormones is the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), prolactin (PRL), follicle and luteinizing hormone (FSH/LH), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), growth hormone (GH), and melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) (McKinley, 2013). TSH is affected by the release of thyroid hormone from the thyroid gland (McKinley, 2013). PRL is affected by regulating breast milk production in females and androgen production in males. FSH/LH is affected by regulating hormone synthesis from the gonads (McKinley, 2013). ACTH is affected by the production and secretion of glucocorticoids. GH is affected by stimulating growth and the release of insulin-like growth (McKinley, 2013). MSH is affected by the distribution of melanocytes in the skin (McKinley, 2013). Anterior Pituitary Hormones

Graves disease is related to this topic because it has to do with the hypothalamic hormones and the thyroid. It increases your metabolic rate, results in weight loss, and hyperactivity. It also produces bulging eyeballs (McKinley, 2013). To treat Graves disease you have to remove the thyroid gland. After the thyroid gland is removed then patients are required to take daily hormone supplements for the rest of their lives (McKinley, 2013).

All of these different hormones sum up what happens when hypothalamic hormones secrete anterior pituitary hormones. The releasing hormones stimulate the production and the secretion and the inhibiting hormones deter the production and the secretion (McKinley, 2013). All the hormones produced are affected in some way when the anterior pituitary is secreted. These hormones need to be this way in order for the target cells to be reached (McKinley, 2013). Anterior Pituitary Hormones