Hypothalamus is a small cone shaped structure that projects downward from the brain ending into the pituitary stalk. It interlinks both the nervous system and endocrine system. Though pituitary gland is known as master endocrine glands that controls the other endocrineglands that controls the other endocrine glands, but it is, in turn controlled by the hypothalamus. Hypothalamus contains groups of neurosecretory cells.It produces neurotransmitters which regulate the secretions of the pituitary (Figure11. 2). The hormones produced by the hypothalamus act either as a releasing hormone or as an inhibitory hormone.
In the basal region of the brain, the hypothalamic hypophyseal portal blood vessel connects hypothalamus and anterior pituitary. It allows hypothalamic hormones to control anterior pituitary secretion. The posterior pituitary is connected with hypothalamus by a nerve bundle called hypothalamic hypophyseal axis. It produces nerve signal that control the posterior pituitary secretion. Hypothalamus maintains homeostasis, blood pressure, body temperature, cardio and fluid electrolyte balance of the body. As the part of limbic system it influences various emotional responses.