Pituitary gland
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  • Pituitary gland: Often referred to as the “master gland,” and secretes hormones that regulate other endocrine glands, as well as growth, reproduction, and metabolism. The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain, within a small, bony cavity called the sella turcica. Specifically, it sits just below the hypothalamus.
  • Pituitary Glands releases several hormones : Growth hormone (GH),luteinizing hormone (LH) , Prolactin (PRL), Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) ,Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), Melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH), Oxytocin, Antidiuretic hormone (ADH)
  • Growth hormone (GH): The growth-regulating hormone primarily responsible for stimulating growth in the body is called growth hormone (GH), also known as somatotropin. Acromegaly is a rare hormonal disorder that occurs when the pituitary gland produces excessive amounts of growth hormone (GH).
  • Prolactin (PRL): Stimulates milk production in lactating females and has various effects on reproductive function.
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH): Stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism.
  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH): Stimulates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, which helps regulate stress response and metabolism.
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH): Regulate reproductive functions such as gamete production and sex hormone secretion.
  • Melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH): Plays a role in skin pigmentation regulation (not as significant in humans).
  • Oxytocin: Stimulates uterine contractions during childbirth and milk ejection during breastfeeding. It also plays a role in social bonding and emotional regulation.
  • Antidiuretic hormone (ADH), also known as vasopressin: Regulates water balance by promoting water reabsorption in the kidneys, reducing urine output, and constricting blood vessels, which helps maintain blood pressure.
  • Relaxin is a peptide hormone primarily known for its role in the female reproductive system, particularly during pregnancy. It is produced by several tissues in the body, including the corpus luteum in the ovaries during the early stages of pregnancy, placenta, and endometrium (the lining of the uterus). Relaxin helps prepare the body for childbirth by relaxing the ligaments and tissues in the pelvic area, allowing for easier passage of the baby through the birth canal during labor and delivery.
  • Endocrine glands secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream rather than through ducts. These hormones then travel through the bloodstream to target organs or tissues where they exert their effects.
  • Ductless Glands: Unlike exocrine glands, endocrine glands lack ducts. Instead, they release hormones directly into the bloodstream.
  • Thyroid gland: The thyroid gland, located in the neck, produces hormones that regulate metabolism, growth, and development.
  • Adrenal glands: These glands, located on top of the kidneys, produce hormones such as cortisol, which helps regulate stress response, and adrenaline, which is involved in the fight-or-flight response.
  • Ovaries and testes: These reproductive organs produce sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, which regulate reproductive functions and secondary sexual characteristics.