Hypothalamus and Neurohypophysis

  • Kazuhiro Takahashi
  • Osamu Murakami
  • Toraichi Mouri


The hypothalamus has essential roles in the central regulation of hormone secretion in most of endocrine organs, as well as a variety of autonomic functions such as the regulation of appetite, reproduction, temperature, water-electrolyte metabolism, circulation, emotional states, and sleep. Hypothalamic hormones such as corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) are produced in the neurons in the hypothalamus, and transported to the median eminence via the axonal transport and then to the anterior pituitary lobe via the pituitary portal vessels. In contrast, vasopressin and oxytocin produced in the magnocellular neurons of the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei are transported to the neurohypophysis via the axonal transport and released into the circulation. Hypothalamus and neurohypophysis are therefore related to a variety of diseases, such as hypogonadism, precocious puberty, obesity, diabetes insipidus, and narcolepsy. This chapter describes the pathology of the hypothalamus and neurohypophysis, as well as their anatomy and physiology. In particular, focus has been laid on recent molecular advances in the physiology and diseases of hypothalamus and neurohypophysis.


Hypothalamus Neurohypophysis Neuropeptide Diabetes insipidus Obesity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazuhiro Takahashi
    • 1
  • Osamu Murakami
  • Toraichi Mouri
  1. 1.Department of Endocrinology & Applied Medical ScienceTohoku University Graduate School of MedicineSendaiJapan

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