The classic postulate by Harris of neuroendocrine control of the anterior pituitary gland predicted that factors would be identified within the hypothalamus that were transported via capillaries of the hypophyseal-portal vessels to regulate pituitary hormone secretion. Two such factors have recently been identified that regulate growth hormone secretion — growth hormone releasing factor (GRF) (1) and the inhibitory peptide, somatostatin (SRIF) (2) (Fig 1). SRIF is widely synthesized and distributed through the hypothalamus and extra-hypothalamic brain (3). Somatostatinergic neurons that originate in perikarya in the periventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus have axons that project via the retrochiasmatic region to terminate in nerve endings in the external layer of the median eminence (4). Manipulation of growth hormone and steroid hormone homeostasis influence preprosomatostatin mRNA (5,6) and SRIF content (7) primarily in this pathway and lesions along the pathway deplete the median eminence of SRIF (8). It thus appears likely that this tract represents the hypophysiotropic somatostatinergic pathway.


Growth Hormone Growth Hormone Secretion Median Eminence Growth Hormone Release Factor Periventricular Nucleus 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Berelowitz
    • 1
  1. 1.Endocrine Div; HSC T15, 060State University of New YorkStony BrookUSA

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