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.
- Gland, salivary
One of the glands in the mouth that produce saliva. There are 3 major salivary glands. They are the parotid, submandibular, and sublingual glands. Each of these glands is paired; there is one parotid gland on each side of the head, etc. The parotid glands are located in front of the ears; the submandibular glands […]
- Gland, sudoriferous
The sudoriferous (sweat) glands are small tubular structures situated within and under the skin (in the subcutaneous tissue). They discharge sweat by tiny openings in the surface of the skin. The sweat is a transparent colorless acidic fluid with a peculiar odor. It contains some fatty acids and mineral matter. It is also called perspiration.
- Gland, sweat
A small tubular gland that is situated in the subcutaneous tissue within and under the skin. Sweat glands discharge sweat through tiny openings in the surface of the skin. The sweat itself is a transparent, colorless, acidic fluid that contains some fatty acids and mineral matter. Also known as sudoriferous gland.
A bacterial infection that causes a chronic debilitating disease of equids (horses, mules, and donkeys) as well as some members of the cat family and is transmissible to people. The bacterium responsible for glanders is Burkholderia mallei (formerly called Pseudomonas mallei). Glanders attacks the mucous membranes of the nostrils, producing increased secretion and discharge of […]
- Glandular fever
Glandular fever is infectious mononucleosis. “Mono” and “kissing disease” are popular terms for this very common illness caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). By the time most people reach adulthood, an antibody against EBV can be detected in their blood meaning they have been infected with EBV. The illness is less severe in young children. […]