Neuropharmacological Influences on Hypothalamic—Pituitary Secretion

  • Ermanno Rolandi
  • Tommaso Barreca


The past 10 years have seen an increasing number of important studies on the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, focusing mainly on the biochemical characterization of the hypothalamic peptide hormones and the neuroendocrine mechanisms regulating the secretory patterns of pituitary hormones. Major advances in this field have included the isolation, characterization, and synthesis of three hypothalamic peptides, which have indisputable hypophysiotropic activities: the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), the thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), and the growth hormone-release-inhibiting hormone (GIH or somatostatin). Another peptide isolated from brain tissues is the putative inhibiting hormone of the melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MIF). The amino acid sequences of the remaining hypophysiotropic hormones are still unknown. Furthermore, it is well established that hypothalamic secretion is subject to a double control: the first through peripheral hormones (feedback mechanism) and the second through the cerebral neurotransmitters. These monoamine neurotransmitters include dopamine (DA), norepinephrine (NE), histamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, and 7-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Recently, it has been proposed that various substances, such as neurotensin, substance P, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), glucagon, bombesin, gastrin, and particularly endorphins, can act as neurotransmitters or neuromodulators and also affect hypothalamic-pituitary secretions.


Growth Hormone Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide Growth Hormone Secretion Thyrotropin Release Hormone Prolactin Secretion 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ermanno Rolandi
    • 1
  • Tommaso Barreca
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto Scientifico di Medicina Interna, Cattedra di Patologia MedicaUniversity of GenoaGenoaItaly

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