Hypothalamus, Neuroendocrine System, and Autonomic Nervous System

  • Stanley Jacobson
  • Elliott M. Marcus
  • Stanley Pugsley


The hypothalamus is a very small nuclear mass found at the base of the third ventricle in the diencephalon. Its functional potency is related to its control of the hypophysis and its descending autonomic fibers, which affect preganglionic parasympathetic and sympathetic nuclei in the brain stem and the thoracic, lumbar, and sacral spinal cord. In addition, this diencephalic region with its important tracts forms part of the Papez circuit and must be included in any discussion of the limbic (or emotional) brain in Chap. 22.


Pituitary gland Papez circuit Hypothalamic nuclei Hypothalamic–hypophyseal tract Autonomic nervous system Enteric nervous system 


  1. Becker KL. Principles and practice of endocrinology and metabolism. 3rd ed. Lippincott: Williams and Wilkins; 2001.Google Scholar
  2. Bodian D. Cytological aspects of neurosecretion in opossum neurohypophysis. Bull Johns Hopk Hosp. 1963;113:57.Google Scholar
  3. Bodian D. Herring bodies and neuroapocrine secretion in the monkey: an electron microscopic study of the fate of the neurosecretory product. Bull Johns Hopk Hosp. 1966;118:282.Google Scholar
  4. Brady ST, Siegel GJ, Albers W, Price DL. Basic neurochemistry. Principles of molecular, cellular and medical neurobiology medical aspects. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 2012.Google Scholar
  5. Brownstein, M.J. 1989. Neuropeptides. In: Siegel, GJ, BW Agranoff, R W Albers, and PB Molinoff (Eds) Basic neurochemistry. Molecular, cellular and medical aspects New York, Raven Press, p. 287–309Google Scholar
  6. Dudas B. The human hypothalamus: anatomy, functions and disorders. New York: Nova Science Publishers; 2015.Google Scholar
  7. Gershon MD. The second brain, enteric nervous system. New York: Harper Collins; 1998.Google Scholar
  8. Green JD. The comparative anatomy of the portal vascular system and of the innervation of the hypophysis. In: Harris GW, Donovan BT, editors. The pituitary gland, vol. I. Berkeley: University of California Press; 1966. p. 127.Google Scholar
  9. Haymaker W, Anderson E, Nauta WJH. The hypothalamus. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas; 1969.Google Scholar
  10. Karczmar AG, Koketsu K, Nishi S, editors. Autonomic and enteric ganglia. New York: Plenum Press; 1986.Google Scholar
  11. Martin JB, Reichlin S, Brown GM. Clinical Neuroendocrinology. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis; 1987.Google Scholar
  12. McGeer PL, McGeer EG. Amino acid neurotransmitters. In: Siegal GJ, Agranoff BW, Albers RW, Molinoff P, editors. Basic neurochemistry. 4th ed. New York: Raven Press; 1989. p. 311–32.Google Scholar
  13. Muller EE, Nistico G. Brain messengers and the pituitary. New York: Academic Press; 1989.Google Scholar
  14. Palay SL. The fine structure of the neurohypophysis. In: Waelsch H, editor. Progress in neurobiology: II. Ultrastructure and cellular chemistry of neural tissue. New York: Paul B. Hoeber; 1957. p. 31.Google Scholar
  15. Scharrer E. Endocrines and the central nervous system. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins; 1966.Google Scholar
  16. Szentagothai J, Flerko B, Mess B, Halasy B. Hypothalamic control of the anterior pituitary. Budapest: Akademiai Kiado; 1968.Google Scholar
  17. Wislocki GB. The vascular supply of the hypophysis cerebri of the rhesus monkey and man. Proc Assoc Res Nerv Dis. 1938;17:48.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanley Jacobson
    • 1
  • Elliott M. Marcus
    • 2
  • Stanley Pugsley
    • 3
  1. 1.BostonUSA
  2. 2.Jamaica PlainUSA
  3. 3.South Abington Twp.USA

Personalised recommendations