Concept

Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis

Summary
The hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA axis or HTPA axis) is a complex set of direct influences and feedback interactions among three components: the hypothalamus (a part of the brain located below the thalamus), the pituitary gland (a pea-shaped structure located below the hypothalamus), and the adrenal (also called "suprarenal") glands (small, conical organs on top of the kidneys). These organs and their interactions constitute the HPA axis. The HPA axis is a major neuroendocrine system that controls reactions to stress and regulates many body processes, including digestion, immune responses, mood and emotions, sexual activity, and energy storage and expenditure. It is the common mechanism for interactions among glands, hormones, and parts of the midbrain that mediate the general adaptation syndrome (GAS). While steroid hormones are produced mainly in vertebrates, the physiological role of the HPA axis and corticosteroids in stress response is so fundamental that analogous
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