The hypothalamic—pituitary—adrenal axis HPA axis or HTPA axis is a complex set of direct influences and feedback interactions among three components: the hypothalamus , the pituitary gland a pea-shaped structure located below the thalamus , and the adrenal also called "suprarenal" glands small, conical organs on top of the kidneys. These organs and their interactions constitute the HPA axis, a major neuroendocrine system  that controls reactions to stress and regulates many body processes, including digestion , the immune system , mood and emotions, sexuality, and energy storage and expenditure. It is the common mechanism for interactions among glands, hormones, and parts of the midbrain that mediate the general adaptation syndrome GAS. The HPA axis, hypothalamic—pituitary—gonadal axis HPG , hypothalamic—pituitary—thyroid axis HPT , and the hypothalamic—neurohypophyseal system are the four major neuroendocrine systems through which the hypothalamus and pituitary direct neuroendocrine function.
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