Until a few years ago, the anterior pituitary was the master gland of the endocrine hierarchy, promoting growth through the production of growth hormone and controlling the secretion patterns of the thyroid, adrenal cortex, and gonad through the production of various tropic hormones. Now, in a social decline somewhat like that of the modern pediatric department chairman, the anterior pituitary is recognized as the transducer of commands sent to it from the brain and even its range of response to these commands is modulated extensively by feedback influences from the periphery.
There are no neural connections between the brain and the anterior pituitary gland. Instead, the commands to produce various pituitary hormones are carried in the form of peptide factors or hormones that are synthesized within hypothalamic neurons, stored in their terminal dendrites in the median eminence, and released as required into a portal system of capillaries that traverses the
WINTER JSD. Analysis of Clinical Studies With LH-RH in Children and Adolescents. Am J Dis Child. 1976;130(6):590–592. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1976.02120070016002
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