Pituitary stalk

The pituitary stalk (also known as the infundibular stalk, Fenderson's funnel, or simply the infundibulum) is the connection between the hypothalamus and the posterior pituitary. The floor of the third ventricle is prolonged downward as a funnel-shaped recess—the infundibular recess—into the infundibulum, where the apex of the pituitary is attached.[1][2] It passes through the dura mater of the diaphragma sellae as it carries axons from the magnocellular neurosecretory cells of the hypothalamus down to the posterior pituitary where they release their neurohypophysial hormones, oxytocin and vasopressin, into the blood.

Pituitary stalk
Pituitary stalk is the vertical blue portion.
Basal view of a human brain (Infundibulum labeled third from the top on right)
Latininfundibulum neurohypophyseos
NeuroLex IDbirnlex_1248
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

This connection is called the hypothalamo-hypophyseal tract or hypothalamo-neurohypophyseal tract.

Damage to the pituitary stalk blocks the release of antidiuretic hormone, resulting in polydypsia (abusive water intake) and polyuria (excessive urination).

See also

Additional images


  1. Grey's Anatomy
  2. Marieb, Elaine (2014). Anatomy & physiology. Glenview, IL: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN 978-0321861580.
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