Our body is made up of many different structures, which in turn are made up of millions of cells.
In this large web, we can see that there are a number of chemicals secreted by the body and that the action largely regulates our behavior and allows phenomena such as growth, sexual behavior or foraging for food. These are hormones, which circulate in the endocrine system, in which we can find different structures, some of which are in the brain.
In this sense, the pituitary gland is distinguished, which in turn can be divided into several substructures. One of them, which we will talk about throughout this article, is adenohypophysis.
Adenohypophysis: definition and main functions
This is called the adenohypophysis a the anterior part and most of the pituitary or pituitary gland. This ovoid-shaped structure is located in the basal part of the brain, below the hypothalamus (with which it is connected by the pituitary rod) and rests in the hollow of the sphenoid bone known as the Turkish chair.
It is a small region of the brain of great importance to our development as humans, its main function being to regulate the release of large amounts of hormones. It is therefore part of the neuroendocrine system, and in particular is linked to hormones related to growth, metabolism and sexuality.
This region of the brain is highly vascularized and it has a large number of glandular cells. In this sense, the adenohypophysis is made up of six main types of cells, at least five of which are known to release the different hormones that the adenohypophysis secretes and regulates: somatotropes (which release growth hormone), mammotrapas ( which influence the release of prolactin and thyrotropin), corticotrophs (secrete corticotrophin or ACTH), gonadotropes (related to sex hormones, in this case follicle stimulating hormone and lutein), thyrotropes (stimulate synthesis prolactin, but especially thyrotrophin) and chromophobes (which are thought to serve to renew the possible loss of the first).
Hormones that govern this structure
The adenohypophysis, as we saw in the previous section, has the main function of secreting and regulating the levels of different hormones. These hormones are essential for generating and enabling different biological processes. Among the various hormones that it generates are as follows.
Also known as corticotropin, this substance it is essential for the production of endogenous glucocorticoids, Primarily affecting the adrenal glands. Its action generates the stimulation of different hormones by this cortex, which allow to regulate aspects such as the metabolism (for example it influences the secretion of insulin), the homeostatic balance and the inflammatory processes.
Betaendorphins are other hormones released by the adenohypophysis. These are substances that act like endogenous opioids, usually associated with moderate, decrease or even inhibit the sensation of pain. In turn, it generates feelings of pleasure and relaxation. It is generated by making great efforts, or during pregnancy and childbirth.
Fundamental hormone that regulates the functioning of the thyroid, stimulating its action, the secretion of thyroid hormones and the regulation of these in the body.
This hormone is mainly known to be the one responsible for generating milk production in the mammary glands after pregnancy (although the hormone itself already begins to increase its amounts during this period). Apart from this action, it also influences breast growth, menstrual inhibition and male refractory period.
5. Follicle stimulating hormone
An essential substance in the field of reproduction, the follicle-stimulating hormone plays the role of stimulating the production of oocytes and estradiol in women (in men, the same goes for the formation of sperm). Apart from that too it has an effect on physical development and sexual maturation.
6. Luteinizing hormone
This hormone is deeply linked to reproduction and the corpus luteum, one of its most well-known roles being to generate that of triggering the ovulation process. In humans, it also plays a role in reproduction and sexuality, because stimulates the production of testosterone by Leydig cells testicles. It also contributes to the genesis of progesterone, so as to facilitate the implantation of a possible fertilized egg.
7. Somatotropin or growth hormone
This hormone is essential, as the name suggests, for stimulating growth and physical development. Muscles and bones are affected by this hormone, among other structures. too much is associated with the consumption and metabolism of fats and nutrients and its use in the body.
Alterations related to this brain structure
The adenohypophysis is a fundamental structure for humans, and its alteration or injury can generate various disorders and consequences of varying severity.
In this sense, it is possible to note that its dysfunction can generate alterations in growth, among which we can find the two types of dwarfism and gigantism (For a deficit or an excess in growth hormone). The role of the adenohypophysis in the generation of thyroid hormones means that its dysfunction is linked to both suffering from hypothyroidism (by default) and hyperthyroidism (by excess).
It can also affect reproductive function, affecting both libido (eg, hyperprolactinemia can occur) and the formation of hormones and sex cells themselves. For example, in the case of a woman, problems might arise or even stopping menstruation and the ability to produce eggs. Finally also may generate or affect metabolic alterations (Including diabetes) and cause problems with metabolism and use of things like fats and carbohydrates.