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In the anatomy of mammals, the hypothalamus is a region of the brain located below the thalamus, forming the major portion of the ventral region of the diencephalon and functioning to regulate certain metabolic processes and other autonomic activities. The hypothalamus links the nervous system to the endocrine system by producing releasing hormones.

In particular, the hypothalamus is the area of the brain that controls body temperature, hunger and thirst, and circadian cycles.

It connects to the pituitary gland via the tuberoinfundibular pathway.

Hypothalamic nuclei

Region Medial Area Lateral Area
Anterior Medial preoptic nucleus
Supraoptic nucleus
Paraventricular nucleus
Anterior nucleus
Suprachiasmatic nucleus
Lateral preoptic nucleus
Lateral nucleus
Part of supraoptic nucleus
Tuberal Dorsomedial nucleus
Ventromedial nucleus
Arcuate nucleus
Lateral nucleus
Lateral tuberal nuclei
Posterior Mammillary nuclei (part of mammillary bodies)
Posterior nucleus
Lateral nucleus

See also: limbic system, HPA axis, cluster headaches

Endocrine system
Adrenal gland; - Corpus luteum; - Hypothalamus - Ovaries - Pancreas - Parathyroid gland; - Pineal gland; - Pituitary gland; - Testes - Thyroid gland;