Posterior Pituitary Gland and Its Relation to the Hypothalamus

The posterior pituitary gland, also called the neurohypophysis, is composed mainly of glial-like cells called pituicytes. The pituicytes do not secrete hormones; they act simply as a supporting structure for large numbers of terminal nerve fibers and terminal nerve endings from nerve tracts that originate in the supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei of the hypothalamus, as shown in Figure 75-9. These tracts pass to the neurohypophysis through the pituitary stalk (hypophysial stalk).The nerve endings are bulbous knobs that contain many secretory granules. These endings lie on the surfaces of capillaries, where they secrete two posterior pituitary hormones: (1) antidiuretic hormone (ADH), also called vasopressin, and (2) oxytocin.

Paraventricular—

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Optic chiasm

Mamillary body

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Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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