The part of the diencephalon, which is called the hypothalamus, coordinates function of the endocrine system through hormonal control of the pituitary gland (Greco and Stabenfeldt 2007).

Hypothalamic hormones regulate secretion of the pituitary hormones, in this way affecting function of the adrenal and thyroid glands, gonads, and also growth of the organism and lactation. Moreover, the hypothalamus plays a role in the regulation of the autonomic nervous system, temperature, feeding, and electrolyte and water balance. Hormones produced by the hypothalamus are as follows: corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH), thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH), gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH), somatostatin, vasopressin, oxytocin and dopamine. Hormones such as adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), thyrotropin (TSH), prolactin, somatotropin, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) are synthesized by the pituitary gland (Greco and Stabenfeldt 2007; Reimers 2003).


Greco D.S., Stabenfeldt G.H. The Endocrine System. In: Cunningham J.G. and Klein B.G. (eds.) Textbook of Veterinary Physiology. 4 th ed. Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis, 2007, pp. 410-427.

Reimers T.J. The Pituitary Gland. In: Pineda M.H. and Dooley M.P. (eds.) McDonald’s Veterinary Endocrinology and Reproduction. 5 th ed. Blackwell Publishing, Ames, 2003, pp. 17-34.

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