Pituitary gland (also known as hypophysis) is a small, pea-sized gland located at the base of the brain below Hypothalamus in the Sella turcica. It is a part of endocrine system and is in charge of making several essential hormones. Pituitary gland also tells other endocrine system glands to release hormones.

A gland is an organ that makes one or more substances, such as hormones, digestive juices, sweat or tears. Endocrine glands release hormones directly into bloodstream.

Hormones are chemicals that coordinate different functions in body by carrying messages through blood to various organs, skin, muscles and other tissues. These signals tell body what to do and when to do it.

Pituitary gland is divided into two main sections: the anterior Pituitary (front lobe) and the posterior Pituitary (back lobe). The Pituitary is connected to Hypothalamus through a stalk of blood vessels and nerves called the Pituitary stalk (also known as infundibulum).

What is the function of Pituitary gland?

The main function of the Pituitary gland is to produce and release several hormones that help carry out important bodily functions, including:


Metabolism (how body transforms and manages the energy from the food we eat).


Response to stress or trauma.


Water and sodium (salt) balance.

Labor and childbirth

Together, Pituitary gland and Hypothalamus form a Hypothalamus-Pituitary complex that serves as brain’s central command center to control vital bodily functions.

Hypothalamus is the part of brain that’s in charge of some of  body’s basic operations. It sends messages to autonomic nervous system, which controls things like blood pressure, heart rate and breathing.  Hypothalamus also tells Pituitary gland to produce and release hormones that affect other areas of body.

Pituitary gland secretes total nine hormones in their posterior, middle and anterior regions. In anterior region these glands secrete six hormones that is GH, ACTH, LH, FSH, PRL, TSH. Mid region secretes only one MSH and posterior region secretes oxytocin and relaxin hormones.