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J Endocrinol. 2005 Jan;184(1):11-28.

Hypothalamic hormones a.k.a. hypothalamic releasing factors.

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  • 1Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


Originally searched for and eventually isolated as factors of hypothalamic origin controlling anterior pituitary secretions, these hypophysiotropic peptides are now a chapter of physiology and medical endocrinology of their own. Defying the concept of 'neuropeptides' they and their receptors are now known to be ubiquitous and to have subtle as well as profound effects on a large number of functions of both soma and psyche. This review will be composed of brief essays on current knowledge of each of the original 'hypothalamic hormones', TRH, GnRH, somatostatin, GHRH and corticotropin releasing hormone and will close on possible and probable futures.

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