Control of anterior pituitary function by the hypothalamus, for which indirect evidence had been available for at least half a century, has now been placed on a firmer foundation with the discovery, isolation, and synthesis of a number of peptides possessing discrete stimulatory or inhibitory effects. These substances are synthesized in the hypothalamus and are transported to the vascular sinusoids of the adenohypophysis through a plexus of vessels extending down the pituitary stalk from the tuber cinereum. Hormones of the posterior pituitary, on the other hand, are transported along the axons of the hypothalamic hypophysial tracts to the neurohypophysis.
Integration of the hypothalamus into the endocrine system has opened the door to the uncovering of the links between neural activity, such as rage, emotion, and sleep, and their effects on endocrine function.1,2 The myriad of changes in endocrine function during sleep has been described recently in these pages and
KAPLAN SA. Hypothalamic Releasing Substances and Inhibitors. Am J Dis Child. 1974;128(4):451–452. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110290021004
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