Skip to Content

hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis

Pronunciation: hī′pō-thă-lam′ik-pi-tū′i-tār-ē-ad-rē′năl ak′sis

Definition: major component of the stress system consisting of the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus, the anterior pituitary gland, and the suprarenal cortices. Corticotropin-releasing hormone and vasopressin secreted by PVN neurons into the hypophysial portal system stimulate pituitary cells to produce and secrete adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) into the general circulation. ACTH then stimulates cortisol secretion by the suprarenal glands.

Disclaimer: This site is designed to offer information for general educational purposes only. The health information furnished on this site and the interactive responses are not intended to be professional advice and are not intended to replace personal consultation with a qualified physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. You must always seek the advice of a professional for questions related to a disease, disease symptoms, and appropriate therapeutic treatments.
© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
Hide