Asked • 01/19/20

How hormones are released into the blood stream by hypothalamic-pituitary structures?

2 Answers By Expert Tutors


Wedlin S. answered • 01/19/20

Passionate and patient tutor with 11 years of experience.

Jesse E. answered • 01/19/20

Experienced Biochemistry Tutor

Jesse E.

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Wedlin S.

Hello, hormones are vitals for physiological processes. Hormones are considered as the body’s chemical messenger. The hypothalamus not only regulates the release of hormones, it also regulates body temperature. Usually the name of a hormone secreted by the hypothalamus will end with “releasing hormone”. There are some exceptions however. In many scenarios, the hypothalamus would sense a chemical imbalance in the body. The hypothalamus would then produce its hormone. Once that hormone is produced, it can act on the pituitary gland or it may act directly on the organ in question. If the hypothalamic hormone must go to the pituitary gland, it will do so. The pituitary gland will respond by producing and secreting the hormone needed to achieve homeostasis (balance). The hormone produced by the pituitary will then go to the organ of interest and cause it to either increase or decrease the level of another hormone. Let us illustrate with an example. We need the hormone cortisol to handle stress. Basically, if your cortisol level is low and you are under stress, the hypothalamus will sense that and produce corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH). This hormone will then go to the pituitary gland and trigger cause it to produce and release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). ACTH is then released into the bloodstream and will make its way to the adrenal gland (it’s target organ). Once there, the adrenal gland will release cortisol and increase its concentration in the blood so that the body can handle its stress. Stress can be in the form of infection, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, the growth of a fetus and etc. As the level of cortisol rises, it will reach a threshold where it will cause the hypothalamus to decrease the production of CRH. As CRH decreases, so will ACTH. This NEGATIVE FEEDBACK will cause a drop in cortisol. Homeostasis will ensure that the body has enough cortisol to handle the current stress burden. As a result, if the cortisol level gets too low again for the stress burden, the hypothalamus will repeat the same process. As you can see, there is a loop that is established between the Hypothalamus-Pituitary Gland-and Adrenal Gland. Now, let me ask you a question, can anyone leave without a hypothalamus? Hope this explanation helps. Any questions, please let me know.


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