Functions of Hypothalamus

The human body is made up of various organ systems.

These organ systems work together to ensure the proper functioning of the human body.

The endocrine system is one of the important organ systems of our body.

The endocrine system is made up of glands that produce chemicals called hormones.

The word endocrine is derived from a Greek word: endo- means within, crinis - means to secrete.

These hormones regulate body metabolism, tissue functions, growth, and development.

Hypothalamus is one of the important glands of endocrine system.

Hypothalamus is a portion of the brain that maintains the body’s internal organ system balance.

Hypothalamus (shown in red) is known as a master switchboard because it controls the endocrine system.

Hypothalamus is located in the the central part of the diencephalon area of the brain, below thalamus.

It is a small cone-shaped structure which is connected to the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland

Hypothalamus develops from the ectoderm layer of the embryo.

Hypothalamus has several groups of neurosecretory cells called nuclei.

These neurosecretory cells or nuclei are responsible for the production of hormones.

The hypothalamus produces various hormones that act on the pituitary gland.

The hormones produced by the hypothalamus can be divided into two groups: Stimulating and Inhibiting hormones.

The Stimulatory hormones from the hypothalamus stimulate the pituitary gland to release certain hormones.

While the inhibiting hormones from the hypothalamus act on the pituitary gland and inhibit the release of certain hormones by the pituitary glands.

Releasing hormones(RH) produced by the hypothalamus are as follows:

This RH performs specific functions. E.g. PRH stimulates the production of prolactin.

Inhibiting hormones (RH) will inhibit the release of hormones from other glands. E.g. Somatostatin.

Inhibiting hormones produced by the hypothalamus is as follows :

These IH perform specific functions. E.g. Prolactin Inhibiting hormone inhibits the production of prolactin.


Hypothalamus is an almond-sized gland.

It is located in the diencephalon area of the brain.

Hypothalamus is the master of the master gland (pituitary gland).

Hypothalamus produces two groups of hormones i.e. releasing hormones and inhibiting hormones.

Each of these hormones has specific functions in our body.

The End