Anterior Pituitary

A major organ of the endocrine system, the anterior pituitary, also called the adenohypophysis, is the glandular, anterior lobe that together with the posterior lobe makes up the pituitary gland (the other part of the pituitary being the posterior pituitary). The anterior pituitary regulates several physiological processes including stress, growth, reproduction and lactation.

Its regulatory functions are achieved through the secretion of various peptide hormones that act on target organs including the adrenal gland, liver, bone, thyroid gland, and gonads. The anterior pituitary itself is regulated by the hypothalamus and by negative feedback from these target organs.

Disorders of the anterior pituitary are generally classified by the presence of over- or underproduction of pituitary hormones. For example, a prolactinoma is a pituitary adenoma that overproduces prolactin. In Sheehan's syndrome of postpartum hypopituitarism, the anterior pituitary uniformly malfunctions and underproduces all hormones. Proper function of the anterior pituitary and of the organs it regulates can often be ascertained via blood tests that measure hormone levels.

Read more about Anterior Pituitary:  Anatomy, Embryology, Physiology, Major Hormones Secreted, Regulation, Etymology, Additional Images

Famous quotes containing the word anterior:

    I find it more credible, since it is anterior information, that one man should know heaven, as the Chinese say, than that so many men should know the world.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)