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December 17, 1960


JAMA. 1960;174(16):2068-2069. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03030160054015

The diencephalon, one of the histologic units located deep in the brain, is charged with execution of a number of vital functions. Participating in this mission are the neurosecretory cells located in the diencephalon and along the pathways which end in the hypophysis. There is good evidence to believe that they participate in the maintenance of water stores in the body. Regulation of blood pressure, control of muscular contraction of the uterus, and the release of milk by the mammary glands are other functions. Galen gave the name hypophysis cerebri to the section under consideration. Microscopic anatomists revealed three distinct parts to the pituitary—the anterior, middle, and posterior lobes—and identified nerve tracts traversing the stalk or infundibulum on their way to the hypophysis from higher centers. The next scientific maneuver was the extraction by the biochemist of vasopressin and oxytocin from the posterior lobe, and adrenocorticotrophin, the growth hormone, and

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