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pituitary gland


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(hypophysis) the master endocrine gland: a pea-sized body attached beneath the hypothalamus in a bony cavity at the base of the skull. It has an anterior lobe (adenohypophysis), which secretes thyroid-stimulating hormone, ACTH (adrenocorticotrophic hormone), the gonadotrophins, growth hormone, prolactin, lipotrophin, and melanocyte-stimulating hormone. The secretion of all these hormones is regulated by specific releasing hormones, which are produced in the hypothalamus (see also corticotrophin-releasing hormone, gonadotrophin-releasing hormone, thyrotrophin-releasing hormone). The posterior lobe (neurohypophysis) secretes vasopressin and oxytocin, which are synthesized in the hypothalamus and transported to the pituitary, where they are stored before release.


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