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The Endocrine System

By Nigel Henderson

The Endocrine System
The system consists of glands widely separated from each other Such glands are ductless Glands may have a duct and are referred to as Exocrine Glands Endocrine Glands release contents from their cells directly into the blood stream • Exocrine glands release their contents via a duct onto the external surface of the body • Consider combined Glands and organs e.g. Pancreas • • • •

Hormones
• Secretions from endocrine glands are called Hormones • Hormones influence target tissues/organs • Endocrine System regulates from a point of duration rather than speed • The Autonomic Nervous System provides a rapid response • Glands not directly connected though seen as a system

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Functions
Functions Include: • Control of electrolyte, fluid balance and influences metabolism – Homeostasis • Maintenance of Stress response • Promotes growth and development • Controls reproductive functions • Red Blood cell (Erythrocyte) regulation • In conjunction with Autonomic Nervous System involved in nutrient acquisition and control of blood circulation

Hormones
• Hormones can exert an effect on a target tissue or stimulate hormone production • This is their sole function • If sole function to stimulate hormone production then termed a tropic hormone • If sole function to exert effect on target tissue (non endocrine) then called a non tropic hormone

Hormones
• • • • Hormones Classified by structure: Amines made from amino acid tyrosine Peptides made from amino acid chains Steroids made from lipids (fats) derived from cholesterol

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The Endocrine System
Complexity of system further confirmed by the fact that: • One gland may produce several tropic and non tropic hormones (anterior pituitary) • One hormone may be secreted by more than one gland • One hormone may affect different target tissues bringing about differing effects • A single cell within a target organ may be affected by more than one hormone • Some organs may be wholly endocrine whereas some may have exocrine or non endocrine functions • Some target tissues may be affected by both hormones and stimuli which are Neurogenic in nature

The Endocrine System
• • • • • • The main glands of the endocrine are: Pituitary Pineal Thyroid and Parathyroid Adrenal (Suprarenal) Pancreas (Islets of Langerhans) Ovaries (female) & Testes (Male)

The Endocrine System

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The Pituitary Gland
• • • • • Consists of Anterior and Posterior Sections The Anterior Pituitary produces: Growth Hormone Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Adrenocorticotrophic Hormone Prolactin Hormone Gonadotrophic Hormones (Follicle Stimulating and Luteinising Hormones)

The Pituitary Gland
The Posterior pituitary is not really a gland but a storage facility for: • Antidiuretic Hormone • Oxytocin

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Pineal Gland
Pineal Gland: • Melatonin • Concerned with the circadian rhythm • Production affected by sunlight • Calcifies in the elderly • Consider World wide travel

The Thyroid Gland
Thyroid Gland produce: • Thyroxin • Tri iodothyronine Parathyroid Glands produce: • Parathormone

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The Adrenal Glands
The Adrenal Cortex produces: • Glucocorticoids Cortisol (hydrocortisone) & Corticosterone • Mineralcorticoid Aldosterone • Sex Hormones Testosterone, Oestrogens & Progesterone

The Adrenal Glands
The Adrenal Medulla produces: • Catecholamines Adrenaline (epinephrine) Noradrenaline (norepinephrine)

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The Pancreas
Possesses both Exocrine and Endocrine Functions • Endocrine Functions: Islets of Langerhans: • Alpha cells produce glucagon • Beta cells produce insulin

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The Endocrine System
Control Mechanisms • Negative feedback acts to maintain the homeostatic balance of the body. Used in control of hormonal production

Summary
• The Endocrine system is complex • Though there are no direct connections between organs considered a system • The Autonomic System utilised for speed with Endocrine for duration • Utilise hormones • Essential for normal Homeostasis • Negative Feedback is utilised in hormonal control

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