Pituitary gland, Biology


  • It develops from ectoderm of the embryo.
  • The pituitary gland is located just below the hypothalamus. The pituitary gland is situated in a depression the sella turcica of sphenoid bone of the skull.
  • The pituitary gland is the smallest endocrine gland. It is about 1.3 cm in diameter and weighs about half a gram.
  • The gland is attached to the brain by a stalk the infundibulum which is continuous with the hypothalamus above.
  • Adenohypophysis or pars distalis and the posterior lobe or neurohypophysis or pars nervosa.
  • Adenohypophysis originates as Rathke's pouch from dorsal wall of stomodaeum in the embryo, but later its connection with the stomodaeum disappears.
  • The neurohypophysis originates as an outgrowth from the floor of the diencephalon.
  • A third lobe, called the intermediate lobe or pars intermedia is a part of adenohypophysis.

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  • Adenohypophysis comprises about 75% part of the pituitary gland.
  • The hypophysial portal veins carry blood containing neurohormones (releasing factors) from the hypothalamus to tbe adenohypophysis.
  • Neurohypophysis comprises about 25% part of the pituitary gland. The axons of neurosecretory cells (secretory neurons) extend into the neurohypophysis where these axons terminate as axon terminals. These terminals are embedded in a neuroglial tissue formed of large and branched cells called pituicytes.
  • No hormones are synthesized in neurohypophysis but two hormones, synthesized in the hypothalamic neurosecretory cells remain stored in very small vesicles in the axons and terminals. These vesicles are called Herring bodies.
Posted Date: 10/2/2012 6:36:47 AM | Location : United States

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