Role of Serotonin in the Hypothalamic Regulation of Pituitary Function
One function of serotonin neurons in brain appears to be control of pituitary hormone secretion. The anterior lobe of the pituitary gland secretes adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), prolactin, growth hormone, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH); the secretion of these hormones is governed by releasing factors and in some cases by release-inhibiting factors from the hypothalamus. Regulation of the secretion of these factors apparently involves complex neural circuitry, but serotonin neurons seem to represent one link in the control mechanisms for most if not all of these pituitary hormones. We will review briefly some of the more recent pharmacologic evidence supporting such a role of serotonin neurons, focusing primarily on ACTH and prolactin, the two hormones of major interest in our laboratories.
KeywordsGrowth Hormone Luteinizing Hormone Dorsal Raphe Nucleus Serum Prolactin Pituitary Function
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