- Also see infundibulumInfundibulumAn infundibulum is a funnel-shaped cavity or organ.* Lungs: The alveolar sacs of the lungs from which the air chambers open are called infundibula...
for other uses of the term.
The pituitary stalk (also known as the infundibular stalk or simply the infundibulum) is the connection between the hypothalamus
The Hypothalamus is a portion of the brain that contains a number of small nuclei with a variety of functions...
and the posterior pituitary
The posterior pituitary comprises the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland and is part of the endocrine system. Despite its name, the posterior pituitary gland is not a gland, per se; rather, it is largely a collection of axonal projections from the hypothalamus that terminate behind the anterior...
It carries axon
An axon is a long, slender projection of a nerve cell, or neuron, that conducts electrical impulses away from the neuron's cell body or soma....
s from the magnocellular neurosecretory cell
Magnocellular neurosecretory cell
Magnocellular neurosecretory cells are large cells within the supraoptic nucleus and paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. They are also found in smaller numbers in accessory cell groups between these two nuclei, the largest one being the nucleus circularis...
s of the hypothalamus down to the posterior pituitary where they release their hormone
A hormone is a chemical released by a cell or a gland in one part of the body that sends out messages that affect cells in other parts of the organism. Only a small amount of hormone is required to alter cell metabolism. In essence, it is a chemical messenger that transports a signal from one...
s into the blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....
This connection is called the hypothalamohypophyseal tract, and is responsible for the release of oxytocin
Oxytocin is a mammalian hormone that acts primarily as a neuromodulator in the brain.Oxytocin is best known for its roles in sexual reproduction, in particular during and after childbirth...
and antidiuretic hormone.