pituitary gland n.
A small, oval endocrine gland attached to the base of the vertebrate brain and consisting of an anterior and a posterior lobe, the secretions of which control the other endocrine glands and influence growth, metabolism, and maturation. Also called hypophysis, master gland.
A gland at the base of the brain in vertebrate animals that is divided into two regions, anterior and posterior, each of which secretes important hormones. The anterior portion, whose secretions are directly controlled by the hypothalamus, produces hormones that regulate the function of most of the body's hormone-producing glands and organs, including the thyroid and adrenal glands. Growth hormone is also produced by the anterior pituitary. The posterior pituitary releases antidiuretic hormone (ADH) and oxytocin.
A small gland, attached to the base of the brain and controlled by the hypothalamus, that functions in the endocrine system. The pituitary gland secretes many hormones: some control the actions of other glands, whereas others influence growth, metabolism, and reproduction.