QS Study

The hypothalamus is an important part of the central nervous system which controls the autonomic nervous system and endocrine system. It plays a key role in regulating pituitary function. It is a part of the brain that contains a number of small nuclei with a mixture of functions. It is located below the thalamus and is part of the limbic system.

It is a part of the diencephalon which extends from the region of optic chiasma to the caudal border of the mammillary bodies. It lies below the thalamus and forms the floor and the inferior part of the lateral walls of the third ventricle.

The hypothalamus contains several groups of nuclei. They are divided by an imaginary parasagittal plane into medial and lateral zones.

medial and lateral zones of Hypothalamus 1

Fig: Medial and lateral zones of Hypothalamus

Medial zone: In the medial zone, the following hypothalamic nuclei are found from anterior to posterior:

  • Part of the preoptic nucleus.
  • The anterior nucleus.
  • Part of the suprachiasmatic nucleus.
  • The paraventricular nucleus.
  • The dorsomedial nucleus.
  • The ventromedial nucleus.
  • The infundibular nucleus.
  • The posterior nucleus.

Lateral zone: In the lateral zone the following hypothalamic nuclei can be recognized from anterior to posterior:

  • Part of the preoptic nucleus.
  • Part of the suprachiasmatic nerve.
  • The supraoptic nucleus.
  • The lateral nucleus.
  • The tuberomammillary nucleus.
  • The lateral tuberal nuclei.
Related Study: