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The pituitary is a key endocrine grand in the central nervous system which participate in the regulation of essential physiological functions, such as growth, reproduction and stress response. Located below the hypothalamic region of the brain, the pituitary is divided into two main parts with different developmental origins: the neurohypophysis (posterior pituitary) and the adenohypophysis (anterior pituitary). The neurohypophysis, which come from an extension of the diencephalic region of the brain mainly contains projections from the brain. The adenohyphysis originates from an up-growth of the pharyngeal ectoderm and endoderm and can be histologically divided in the pars intermedia (PI), the pars distalis (PD), and the pars tuberalis (PT), the latter present in mammals but not in teleosts. The adenohypophysis contains several endocrine cell types. 

Pituitary is a tissue that shows high plasticity, with the number of specific cell types changing through the life of an animal. The activity of the cells, hormone synthesis and release which are mainly regulated by neuroendocrine signals from the brain and by feedback regulatory signals from the target organs, is also regulated to adjust hormone production to the physiological needs. 

Published 1. May 2021 - 7:00 - Updated 1. May 2021 - 7:00