The most potent hypothalamic hormone that regulates the release of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from the pituitary gland is the corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRF). Vasopressin releases ACTH from the pituitary gland in vitro as well as in vivo. The possible role of cholecystokinin (CCK) in releasing pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC)-derived peptides from the anterior pituitary is investigated. CCK present in CRF neurons is assistant hormone in the control of ACTH release. The presence of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) in portal blood indicates that VIP might be involved in the regulation of anterior pituitary function. Adrenal cortical steroids exert a negative feedback inhibition on the secretion of ACTH from the pituitary. CRF may be the most potent but not the only hypothalamic factor that releases ACTH from the anterior pituitary. The physiological, morphological, and biochemical studies are necessary to reveal all the structures and neurotransmitters involved in neuroendocrine regulation.
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