Physiology of the Hypothalamus Pituitary Unit

  • Luisa Maria Seoane
  • Sulay Tovar
  • Carlos Dieguez
Reference work entry
Part of the Endocrinology book series (ENDOCR)


The hypothalamic-pituitary unit constitutes the main regulator of the physiological functions in the organism. In the last years, the classical view about the regulation and the function of the main hormonal axis somatotroph, thyrotrophic, lactotroph, and gonadotroph has changed by the inclusion of new signals and organs acting in the hypothalamic-pituitary unit allowing a communication between metabolic status and hormonal system in order to regulate energy balance and physiological functions such as growth, lactation, adiposity, and reproduction.


Hypothalamus Pituitary Growth hormone Thyroid Prolactin Gonadal 

List of Abbreviations


Adrenocorticotropic hormone


Anti-diuretic hormone


AMP-activated protein kinase


Alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone


Arcuate nucleus


Brown adipose tissue


Blood brain barrier


Body mass index


Cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript neuropeptides


Cannabinoid receptor 1




Corticotroph releasing hormone


Corticotropin releasing hormone


Deiodinase type 1


Deiodinase type 3


Dorsomedial hypothalamus


Follicle-stimulating hormone


Follicle-stimulating hormone–releasing hormone




Growth hormone


Growth hormone binds at specific transmembrane receptor


Growth hormone releasing hormone


Growth hormone secretagogue receptor


Glucagon-like peptide-1


Gonadotropin Inhibiting Hormone


Gonadotropin-releasing hormone


Ghrelin O-acyltransferase


Seven-transmembrane G-protein coupled receptor


Receptor for IGF1


IGF1 binding proteins


Janus kinase 2


Kisspeptin/neurokinin B/dynorphin neurons.


Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol


Luteinizing hormone


Luteinizing hormone–releasing hormone


Mitogen-activated protein kinase


Monocarboxylate transporter 8


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease


Neurokinin A


Neurokinin B


Orexigenic peptides Neuropeptide Y and Agouty-related protein


Organic anion-transporting polypeptide 1C1


Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide


Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase


Phosphotidyl inositol 3-kinase


Pituitary transcription factor


Pro-opiomelanocortin and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript




Paraventricular hypothalamus nucleus


Substance P




Somatostatin receptor


Signal transducer and activator of transcription 5


Thyroid hormones T3 and T4


Thyrotropin-releasing hormone/thyrotropin-releasing factor


Thyrotropin/thyroid-stimulating hormone


Vasoactive intestinal peptide


Ventromedial hypothalamus.




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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luisa Maria Seoane
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sulay Tovar
    • 2
    • 3
  • Carlos Dieguez
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Grupo Fisiopatología Endocrina, IDISComplejo Hospitalario Universitario de Santiago de Compostela (CHUS/SERGAS)Santiago de CompostelaSpain
  2. 2.CIBER Fisiopatología Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBEROBN), Instituto Salud Carlos IIIMajadahondaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Physiology, CIMUSUniversity of Santiago de Compostela-Instituto de Investigación SanitariaSantiago de CompostelaSpain

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