Reference Work Entry

Drug Discovery and Evaluation: Pharmacological Assays

pp 3627-3690

Hypothalamic Hormones


Hypothalamic regulatory hormones are used in diagnostic procedures and for therapy, usually modified by chemical synthesis to enhance activities (Reichlin et al. 1976). The existence of regulators of anterior pituitary function, postulated many years ago (Bargmann 1949; Scharrer and Scharrer 1954), was experimentally demonstrated for the first time by Saffran and Schally (1955) in experiments utilizing hypothalamic and neurohypophyseal extracts. TRH was the first hypothalamic hormone whose chemical structure was elucidated (Bøler et al. 1969; Schally et al. 1970). Its main use is as a diagnostic instrument in thyroid disorders, pituitary tumors, and infertility.