Gland, pituitary
The main endocrine gland. It is a small structure in the head and is called the master gland because it produces hormones that control other glands and many body functions including growth. The pituitary consists of the anterior and posterior pituitary. The anterior pituitary is the front portion of the pituitary. Hormones secreted by it influence growth, sexual development, skin pigmentation, thyroid function, and adrenocortical function. These influences are exerted through the effects of pituitary hormones on other endocrine glands except for growth hormone which acts directly on cells. The effects of underfunction of the anterior pituitary include growth retardation (dwarfism) in childhood and a decrease in all other endocrine gland functions normally under the control of the anterior pituitary (except the parathyroid glands). The results of overfunction of the anterior pituitary include overgrowth (gigantism) in children and a condition called acromegaly in adults. The posterior pituitary is the back portion of the pituitary. It secretes the hormone oxytocin which increases uterine contractions and antidiuretic hormone (ADH) which increases reabsorption of water by the tubules of the kidney. Underproduction of ADH results in a disorder called diabetes insipidus characterized by inability to concentrate the urine. The urine is "insipid" (overly dilute). The consequence is excess urination leading potentially to dehydration.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pituitary gland — Pituitary Pi*tu i*ta*ry, a. [L. pituita phlegm, pituite: cf. F. pituitarie.] (Anat.) (a) Secreting mucus or phlegm; as, the pituitary membrane, or the mucous membrane which lines the nasal cavities. (b) Of or pertaining to the pituitary body; as …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pituitary — Pi*tu i*ta*ry, a. [L. pituita phlegm, pituite: cf. F. pituitarie.] (Anat.) (a) Secreting mucus or phlegm; as, the pituitary membrane, or the mucous membrane which lines the nasal cavities. (b) Of or pertaining to the pituitary body; as, the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pituitary body — Pituitary Pi*tu i*ta*ry, a. [L. pituita phlegm, pituite: cf. F. pituitarie.] (Anat.) (a) Secreting mucus or phlegm; as, the pituitary membrane, or the mucous membrane which lines the nasal cavities. (b) Of or pertaining to the pituitary body; as …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pituitary fossa — Pituitary Pi*tu i*ta*ry, a. [L. pituita phlegm, pituite: cf. F. pituitarie.] (Anat.) (a) Secreting mucus or phlegm; as, the pituitary membrane, or the mucous membrane which lines the nasal cavities. (b) Of or pertaining to the pituitary body; as …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pituitary body — noun the master gland of the endocrine system; located at the base of the brain • Syn: ↑pituitary, ↑pituitary gland, ↑hypophysis • Derivationally related forms: ↑hypophysial (for: ↑hypophysis), ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • gland — gland1 glandless, adj. glandlike, adj. /gland/, n. 1. Anat. a. a cell, group of cells, or organ producing a secretion. b. any of various organs or structures resembling the shape but not the function of true glands. 2. Bot. a secreting organ or… …   Universalium

  • pituitary — I. adjective Etymology: Latin pituita phlegm; from the former belief that the pituitary gland secreted phlegm more at pip Date: 1615 1. of or relating to the pituitary gland 2. caused or characterized by secretory disturbances of the pituitary… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • gland — I (Roget s IV) n. Syn. organ, endocrine organ, glandule, pancreas, kidney, liver, testicle, spleen, epithelial cells. Kinds of glands include: simple, compound, tubular, saccular, racemose, ductless, adrenal, carotid, endocrine, lymphatic,… …   English dictionary for students

  • Pituitary adenoma — Classification and external resources ICD 10 D35.2 …   Wikipedia

  • pituitary — [pi to͞o′ə ter΄ē, pityo͞o′ə ter΄ē] adj. [L pituitarius < pituita, phlegm, rheum < IE * pitu , juice, food < base * pei , *pi , to be fat > PITCH1, FAT] 1. Obs. of or secreting mucus 2. of the pituitary gland n. pl. pituitaries …   English World dictionary

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