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Keywords:

  • growth hormone;
  • in vivo imaging;
  • pituitary;
  • vessels

Abstract

The pulsatile release of hormone is obligatory for the control of a range of important body homeostatic functions. To generate these pulses, endocrine organs have developed finely regulated mechanisms to modulate blood flow both to meet the metabolic demand associated with intense endocrine cell activity and to ensure the temporally precise uptake of secreted hormone into the bloodstream. With a particular focus on the pituitary gland as a model system, we review here the importance of the interplay between blood flow regulation and oxygen tensions in the functioning of endocrine systems, and the known regulatory signals involved in the modification of flow patterns under both normal physiological and pathological conditions.