Homeostasis – Role of regulatory systems
1. Define and cite examples of Homeostasis. 2. Discuss the need for homeostasis in living


 Homeostasis refers to the appropriate, balanced internal

 Metabolic processes occur continuously in every organism,

and they must be carefully regulated to maintain homeostasis.
 When enough of a cell product has been made, its

manufacture must be decreased or turned off .
 When a particular substance is required, cell processes that

produce it must be turned on.
 These homeostatic mechanisms are self-regulating control

systems that are remarkably sensitive and efficient.

 Stressors (changes in the internal or external environment) that affect normal conditions within the body.  How do homeostatic mechanisms work? .  An organism functions effectively because homeostatic mechanisms continuously operate to manage stress  Many animals are conformers for certain environmental conditions.  An internal condition that moves out of its homeostatic range (either too high or too low) causes stress.  Mammals are superb regulators.  Some of their internal states vary with changes in their surroundings.  They have complex homeostatic mechanisms that maintain relatively constant internal conditions despite changes in the outside environment. continuously challenge homeostasis.

 When the glucose concentration decreases.  When the concentration of glucose in the blood rises above normal limits.  When you have not eaten for a few hours. which they break down to obtain energy. bringing the glucose concentration in the blood back to normal levels.Example  Your cells require a constant supply of glucose molecules. the glucose concentration begins to fall.  Your body converts stored nutrients to glucose.  The circulatory system delivers glucose and other nutrients to all the cells. glucose is stored in the liver and in muscle cells. you also feel .

Feedback Regulation: Negative feedback systems restore homeostasis 3. 4. Discuss the role of positive and negative feedback in the function of an organism . Describe and provide examples from mammalian biology of negative and positive feedback reactions.

 The sensor signals a control centre. Note that in a negative feedback system. the change. the response of the . A sensor detects a change. or set point. thereby restoring the steady state. Based on the input of the sensor. a change in some steady state triggers a response that counteracts.In a negative feedback system.( a deviation from the normal condition). or reverses. the control centre activates homeostatic mechanisms that restore the steady state The response counteracts the inappropriate change.

When the glucose concentration in the blood decreases below its homeostatic level.Example v Most homeostatic mechanisms in the body are negative feedback systems. negative feedback systems increase its concentration. When body temperature decreases below normal limits. 3. specialized nerve cells (sensors) signal the . alpha cells in the pancreas secrete a hormone that increases glucose concentration.  If the glucose concentration in the blood is too low. 1.


they do not maintain homeostasis.  The contraction forces the head against the cervix again. For example.Feedback Regulation A few positive feedback systems operate in the body Positive feedback intensifies the change taking place. (rather than reverses) moving conditions further away from homeostasis. a positive feedback cycle operates during the birth of a baby. Although some positive feedback mechanisms are beneficial.  As the baby’s head pushes against the cervix (lower part of uterus). . a reflex action causes the uterus to contract.


5. Compare nervous and hormonal regulation with respect to structure and function of each system.Comparison of Nervous and Hormonal regulation. .

. its effects are short-lived System of neurons transmits “electrical” signals & release neurotransmitters to target tissue The magnitude of nervous system effects are dependent upon the frequency of action potentials. Endocrine system Nervous system regulates the activities of muscles and glands via electrical impulses transported through neurons.Nervous system vs.  Neural control is fast.

its effects are prolonged System of ductless glands secrete chemical signals directly into blood.  Hormonal control is slow. chemical travels to target tissue slow.Endocrine System regulates the body’s metabolic activity via hormones that are transported in the blood. . long-lasting response the magnitude of endocrine effects are dependent upon the amount of hormone released .

 Nervous :Neurotransmitters released by neurons  Endocrine :Hormones release by endocrine glands  These two systems interact and regulate each other neurotransmitt er Endocrine gland Hormone carried by blood axon Receptor proteins Receptor proteins Target cell .

Nervous and hormonal regulation – rapid and gradual control working together 6. Hormonal and neural control combined in homeostasis. with respect to anatomy .

For example. the steady state of the body. Hypothalamus = “master nerve control centre” nervous system :receives information from nerves around body about internal conditions  regulates release of hormones from pituitary . The nervous system helps regulate many endocrine responses.The endocrine system works closely with the nervous system to maintain homeostasis. when the body is threatened. the hypothalamus signals the adrenal glands to secrete the hormone epinephrine.

Hypothalamus Posterior Pituitary Anterior .

pancreas secretes glucagon promotes breakdown of glycogen & release of glucose . pancreas secretes insulin promotes transport of glucose into cells & storage of glucose (as glycogen) in liver & muscle cells drops blood glucose levels Glucagon increases blood glucose levels when glucose levels drop below set point.Managing Glucose Insulin reduces blood glucose levels Levels glucose levels rise above set point.


identify the main endocrine organs in the human body.Human Endocrine system. Using a generalized diagram of the human body. . 7.



The chemical nature of hormones 8. and the actions of these secretions . Identify the secretions of the main endocrine organs.

and nutrient balance of the blood Regulation of cellular metabolism and energy balance .Important Hormone Reproduction Functions Growth and development Immune system response Maintenance of electrolyte. water.

ovaries and testes) .Major Endocrine Organs Pineal gland Hypothalamus Pituitary gland Thyroid gland Parathyroid gland Thymus gland Adrenal glands Pancreas Gonads (i.e..


helps regulate bone remodeling Stimulates secretion of adrenal cortical hormones Stimulate gonad function and growth Stimulate metabolic rate.Major Endocrine Glands and Their Hormones Gland Hypothalamus Hormone Releasing and inhibiting hormones Target Tissue Anterior lobe of pituitary Principal Actions Regulate secretion of hormones by the anterior pituitary Stimulates contraction Stimulates ejection of milk into ducts Stimulates re-absorption of water Stimulates growth of skeleton and muscle Stimulates milk production Melanocyte-stimulating hormones (MSH) Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) Adrenal cortex Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) Gonads Gonadotropic hormones Thyroid gland Thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) Calcitonin General Bone Lowers blood calcium level Pigment cells in skin Stimulate melanin production Thyroid gland Stimulates secretion of thyroid hormones. regulate energy metabolism Posterior pituitary Oxytocin Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) Uterus Mammary glands Kidneys (collecting ducts) General Mammary glands Anterior pituitary Growth hormone (GH) Prolactin .

raise blood glucose level. promotes spermatogenesis Regulates blood calcium level Parathyroid glands Parathyroid hormone . digestive tract Develops and maintains sex characteristics in males. uterus Uterus. adipose tissue Help body cope with stress. increase metabolic rate. raise blood glucose level Adrenal cortex Mineralocorticoids Glucocorticoids Kidney tubules General Pineal gland Ovary Melatonin Estrogens Progesterone Hypothalamus General. liver. stimulate growth of uterine lining Stimulates development of uterine lining Testis Testosterone General. kidneys. adipose tissue Principal Actions Lowers blood glucose concentration Raises blood glucose concentration Adrenal medulla Epinephrine and norepinephrine Muscle. blood vessels. increase heart rate and blood pressure Maintain sodium and potassium balance Help body cope with long-term stress.Gland Pancreas Hormone Insulin Glucagon Target Tissue General Liver. breast Important in biological rhythms Develop and maintain sex characteristics in female. reproductive structures Bone.

9. Describe the chemical nature of hormones and how each main type elicits change at the cellular level .

Amino acid-based hormones Most hormones are this type Tend to stay in the blood 3. Steroid hormones Synthesized from cholesterol Lipid-soluble. Fatty Acid Derivatives Prostaglandins and the juvenile hormone of insects 2. able to pass through the phospholipid membrane Include the gonadal hormones and the adrenal cortical hormones (secreted by the adrenal cortex) . Four Classes of Hormones 1.Hormone – A chemical substance secreted by one cell that affects the functions of another cell.

describe themechanisms. 11. Discuss the implications of failure of a regulatory system . regulation of hormone secretion by negative and positive feedback. Negative feedback 10. Using examples from human biology.Regulation of hormone secretion.

Thyroid hormones increase metabolic rate In vertebrates. thyroid hormones are essential for normal growth and development. These hormones increase the rate of metabolism in most body tissues. . Thyroid hormones also help regulate the synthesis of proteins necessary for cell differentiation.

Thyroid secretion is regulated by negative feedback systems  The regulation of thyroid hormone secretion depends on a negative feedback loop between the anterior pituitary and the thyroid gland.  When the concentration of thyroid hormones in the blood rises above normal. the pituitary secretes more TSH. Thyroid hormone concentration low more TSH thyroid gland secretes more hormone anterior pituitary secretes homeostasis . the anterior pituitary secretes less thyroidstimulating hormone (TSH)high Thyroid hormone concentration inhibits anterior pituitary secretes less TSH homeostasis thyroid gland secretes less hormone •When the concentration of thyroid hormones decreases.

 When there is almost no thyroid function.  Hyperthyroidism does not cause abnormal growth but does increase metabolic rate. so people often lose weight. The most common form of hyperthyroidism is Graves’ disease. But this does not meet the demands of the rapidly metabolizing cells. a condition characterized by retarded mental and physical development  An adult who feels like sleeping all the time. . has little energy.Malfunction of the thyroid gland leads to specific disorders  Extreme hypothyroidism during infancy and childhood results in low metabolic rate and can lead to cretinism. and is mentally slow or confused may be suffering from hypo-thyroidism. characterized by a slowing down of physical and mental activity. an autoimmune disease. the basal metabolic rate is reduced by about 40% the patient develops myxedema. This increase results in the rapid use of nutrients. causing the individual to be hungry and to eat more.

Iodine deficiency is a common cause of goitre. . enlargement of the thyroid gland.

brittle bones. acromegaly in adult Thyroid hormones Cretinism (in children). tetany. death Weak. nervousness. dietary iodine deficiency leads to hyposecretion and goitre Hyperthyroidism. spasms.Consequences of Endocrine Malfunction Hormone Growth hormone Hyposecretion Pituitary dwarfism Hypersecretion Gigantism if malfunction occurs in childhood. Graves’ disease Parathyroid hormone Spontaneous discharge of nerves. a condition of pronounced adult hypothyroidism. kidney stones Insulin Hormones of adrenal cortex Diabetes mellitus Addison’s disease Hypoglycemia Cushing’s disease . goiter. myxedema. increased metabolic rate. irritability.


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