The ENDOCRINE SYSTEM  Organs of the endocrine system are small and unimpressive.  Endocrine organs also lack the structural or anatomical continuity typical of most organ systems.  Functionally the endocrine organs are very impressive and when their role in maintaining body homeostasis is considered, they are true giants. ENDOCRINE SYSTEM  Group of specialized organs and body tissues that produce, store and secrete chemical substances known as Hormones.  The term hormone comes from a Greek word meaning “to arouse”  Hormones “arouse” or bring about their effects on the body’s cell primarily by altering cellular activity That is, by increasing or decreasing the rate of a normal, or usual, metabolic process rather than by stimulating a new one.  As the body’s chemical messengers, hormones transfer information and instructions from one set of cells to another. Changes that occur:  Changes in plasma membrane permeability or electrical state.  Synthesis of proteins or certain regulatory molecules (such as enzymes) in the cell.  Activation or inactivation of enzymes.  Stimulation of mitosis. Endocrine organs have a great deal of influence over the body. Function:  Regulating body’s growth and development  Controlling the function of various tissues  Supporting pregnancy and other reproductive functions.  Regulating metabolism. Control of Hormone Release  Hormone levels in the blood are maintained by negative feedback  A stimulus or low hormone levels in the blood triggers the release of more hormone  Hormone release stops once an appropriate level in the blood is reached Hormonal Stimuli of Endocrine Glands  Endocrine glands are activated by other hormones  Changing blood levels of certain ions stimulate hormone release Neural Stimuli of Endocrine Glands  Nerve impulses stimulate hormone release  Most are under control of the sympathetic nervous system  Endocrine organs are sometimes called DUCTLESS GLANDS.  The hormones they secrete are released directly into the bloodstream. HISTORY  Earliest reference to the endocrine system comes from ancient Greece, in about 400BC th  Not until the 16 century that accurate anatomical descriptions of many endocrine organs were published.  Research during the 20 century has vastly improved our understanding of hormones and how they function in the body. Today ENDOCRINOLOGY, the study of the endocrine glands, is an important branch of modern medicine.

The DUCTLESS GLANDS  Thyroid  Parathyroids  Thymus  Pituitary Gland  Pineal Gland  The Chromaphil and Cortical System o Suprarenals o Paraganglia and Aortic glands o Glomus caroticum o Glomus coccygeum PITUITARY GLAND  Also known as the Hypophysis, the “master gland”.  Small reddish gray body.  1cm in diameter, and weighs between 0.5-0.9 grams.  It is attached to the end of the infundibulum of the brain.  Rests on the hypophyseal fossa or sella turcica (Turkish saddle)  It is separated from the brain by the diaphragma sella, an extension of the dura mater.  A thin layer of bone separates it from the sphenoid sinus anteriorly and inferiorly.  The lateral wall of the sella abut on the cavernous sinuses, which contain the internal carotid arteries and cranial nerves III, IV, V, and VI.  The optic chiasm is slightly anterior to the pituitary stalk, just above the diaphragma sella.  Tumors of the pituitary may lead to visual field defects, to cranial nerve palsies, or to invasion of the sphenoid sinus.  The Pituitary gland produces six major hormones and stores an additional two hormones. o Growth hormone o Prolactin o Luteinizing hormone o Follicle stimulating hormone o Thyroid stimulating hormone o Adrenocorticotropin  The stored hormones are: o Vasopressin or Antidiuretic hormone o Oxytocin Development  Anterior Lobe o Derived from the ectoderm of the stomodeum.  Posterior Lobe o From the floor of the forebrain. ANTERIOR LOBE (ADENOHYPOPHYSIS)  Larger and is somewhat kidney-shaped.  Pharyngeal derivative (Rathke’s pouch) Consists of 2 Parts:  Pars anterior (pars distalis, or glandularis)  Pars intermedia together with the pars tuberalis.

Superior hypophysial artery  Arises from the supraclinoid portion and from the anterior and posterior cerebral arteries.  Contains few blood vessels.  Supplies the median eminence.  Consists of neuroglia cells and fibers. Pars tuberalis  Is characterized by the large number of blood vessels traversing it.  Few veins connect it with the surrounding systemic venous structures directly.ANATOMY ENDOCRINE SYSTEM Parts of the Pituitary Gland Pars anterior  Is extremely vascular  Consists of epithelial cells of varying sizes.  Venous drainage of the adenohypophysis appears somewhat restricted.  It also facilitates feedback control of secretion. the upper part of the infundibulum and the lower infundibulum. Pars intermedia  Is a thin lamina closely applied to the body and neck of the posterior lobe.  Releases Antidiuretic hormone (vasopressin) and milk let-down factor.  Superior hypophysial arteries.  Between these are cords or balls of undifferentiated cells admixed with some alpha and beta cells.  The venous drainage allows the hypophysial hormones to leave the gland and be carried to their target organs. Clinical Consideration  Pituitary tumors may lead to hormonal over. .  Inferior hypophysial artery. Inferior hypophysial artery  Arises from the cavernous portion of the internal carotid artery. and small collections of colloid material. Venous drainage of the Neurohypophysis is by 3 potential routes:  To the adenohypophysis via a long and short portal vessels  To the systemic circulation via the large inferior hypophysial veins which open into the dural venous sinuses  To the hypothalamus via small capillaries which pass between it and the median eminence. Oxytocin. Blood Supply Arteries of the pituitary gland stem from branches of the internal carotid artery.  Arranged in cord-like trabeculae or alveoli and separated by large.  Does not contain nerve cells or fibers.or under production or may cause mechanical problems by impinging on neighboring structures.  These arteries anastomose with their fellows from the opposite side forming an arterial ring around the infudibular process to the neurohypophysis.  Consists of finely granular cells between which are small masses of colloid material. thin-walled blood vessels. POSTERIOR LOBE (NEUROHYPOPHYSIS)  Arises from the floor of the third ventricle of the brain.

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