Pituitary Gland

The pituitary gland consists of anterior, intermediate, and posterior lobes. The anterior pituitary gland has a vascular connection with the hypothalamus called the hypophyseal portal system, which transports releasing and inhibiting factors from the hypothalamus to the anterior pituitary. The anterior pituitary is also regulated by steroid hormones, as well as activin and inhibin secreted by the ovary. In contrast, the posterior pituitary gland is a neural extension of the hypothalamus containing nerve terminals that release oxytocin and vasopressin. The former hormone has a key role in uterine contractions, parturition, and milk let-down.

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