Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Pituitary-Adrenal Axis

  • Jennifer HeaneyEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_865



The pituitary-adrenal axis comprises the pituitary and adrenal glands. The main interactions that take place between these two endocrine glands are as part of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis). Corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) stimulates the secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from the anterior pituitary; this in turn stimulates the release of cortisol from the adrenal cortex (Martin, Reichlin, & Brown, 1997). More detail on the pituitary-adrenal axis and its function in the HPA axis can be found in Widmaier, Raff, and Strang (2004), O’Riordan, Malan, and Gould (1988), and Greenspan and Forsham (1983).

References and Readings

  1. Greenspan, F. S., & Forsham, P. H. (1983). Basic and clinical endocrinology. Los Altos, CA: Lange Medical Publications.Google Scholar
  2. O’Riordan, F. L. H., Malan, P. G., & Gould, R. P. (1988). Essentials of endocrinology (2nd ed.). Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications.Google Scholar
  3. Widmaier, E. P., Raff, H., & Strang, K. T. (2004). Vander, Sherman, and Luciano’s human physiology: The mechanism of body function. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  4. Martin, J. B., Reichlin, S., & Brown, G. M. (1997). Clinical neuroendocrinology. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Sport and Exercise SciencesThe University of BirminghamEdgbaston, BirminghamUK