The endocrine system is a system of glands, each of which secretes a type of hormone into the bloodstream to regulate the body. The endocrine system is an information signal system like the nervous system. Hormones are substances (chemical mediators) released from endocrine tissue into the bloodstream that attach to target tissue and allow communication among cells. Hormones regulate many functions of an organism, including mood, growth and development, tissue function, and metabolism.

Endocrine organs, called glands, secrete hormones into the bloodstream.

Hormones affect the activity of target sites that are often located far from the site of release. Exocrine organs direct the function of their target sites by releasing their active.

Many of these hormones are releasing hormones. In addition. It is also involved in emotional well-being. which causes the pituitary gland to stop the release of growth hormone. In the pituitary gland. It is often considered the most important part of the endocrine system because it produces hormones that control many functions of other endocrine glands.) . When the pituitary gland does not produce one or more of its hormones or not enough of them. ovaries. The Hypothalamus The hypothalamus is located in the lower central part of the brain. it secretes hormones that stimulate or suppress the release of hormones in the pituitary gland. Other endocrine glands within the body include: thyroid. The pituitary gland is divided into two parts: the anterior lobe and the posterior lobe.Human endocrine system: The major endocrine organs include the hypothalamus and the hypophysis. parathyroids. or pituitary gland. metabolism. adrenals. The Pituitary gland The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain beneath the hypothalamus and is no larger than a pea. The anterior lobe produces the following hormones. This part of the brain is important in regulation of satiety. which are regulated by the hypothalamus: y Growth hormone . it is called hypopituitarism. these releasing hormones signal secretion of stimulating hormones. Growth hormone deficiency in adults results in problems in maintaining proper amounts of body fat and muscle and bone mass. The hypothalamus also secretes a hormone called somatostatin.Stimulates growth of bone and tissue (growth hormone deficiency in children results in growth failure. which are secreted into an artery (the hypophyseal portal system) that carries them directly to the pituitary gland. and body temperature. and testes. pancreas.

The Thyroid gland The thyroid gland is located in the lower front part of the neck.Hormones that control sexual function and production of the sex steroids. The pituitary gland controls the release of thyroid hormones. digestion.) y Adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) . muscle tone. which are not regulated by the hypothalamus: y Antidiuretic hormone (vasopressin) .Stimulates the adrenal gland to produce several related steroid hormones y Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) .y Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) . They are stored in the pituitary gland.Hormone that stimulates milk production in females The posterior lobe produces the following hormones.Contracts the uterus during childbirth and stimulates milk production y The hormones secreted by the posterior pituitary are actually produced in the brain and carried to the pituitary gland through nerves. . It also plays a role in bone growth and development of the brain and nervous system in children.Controls water loss by the kidneys Oxytocin . heart rate. Thyroid hormones also help maintain normal blood pressure.Stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones (A lack of thyroid hormones either because of a defect in the pituitary or the thyroid itself is called hypothyroidism. estrogen and progesterone in females or testosterone in males y Prolactin . and reproductive functions. It produces thyroid hormones that regulate the body's metabolism.

In males. pregnancy). which plays a role in regulating calcium levels in the blood and bone metabolism. menstruation. The inner part. sexual development. the most important of which is testosterone. and they are also involved in reproductive functions (for example. The exocrine portion of the pancreas secretes digestive enzymes into the pancreatic duct. produce estrogen and progesterone as well as eggs. located in the scrotum. The adrenal glands are made up of two parts. These hormones help the body cope with physical and emotional stress by increasing the heart rate and blood pressure.The Parathyroid Glands The parathyroid glands are two pairs of small glands embedded in the surface of the thyroid gland. the balance of salt and water in the body. The pancreas is both an endocrine organ and an exocrine organ. In females. The outer part produces hormones called corticosteroids. located on both sides of the uterus. These hormones control the development of female characteristics (for example. . produces hormones called catecholamines (for example. The endocrine portion of the pancreas secretes hormones. the immune system. the ovaries. The Reproductive glands The reproductive glands are the main source of sex hormones. These hormones affect many male characteristics (for example. and the inner part is called the adrenal medulla. The Pancreas The pancreas is an elongated organ located toward the back of the abdomen behind the stomach. The outer part is called the adrenal cortex. The Adrenal gland The adrenal glands are triangular-shaped glands located on top of each kidney. They release parathyroid hormone. which regulate the body's metabolism. growth of facial hair and pubic hair) as well as sperm production. adrenaline). the testes. secrete hormones called androgens. and sexual function. one pair on each side. breast growth). or adrenal medulla. including insulin and glucagon.

In addition. Glucagon causes the liver to convert stored glycogen into glucose. Liver cells (hepatocytes) have glucagon receptors. storing it as glycogen in the liver and muscle. The pancreas releases glucagon when blood glucose levels fall too low. secreted by the pancreas that raises blood glucose levels. y Glucagon is a hormone. which is released into the bloodstream. As these stores become depleted. . Glucose is stored in the liver in the form of glycogen. muscle. and fat tissue to take up glucose from the blood. the liver cells convert the glycogen polymer into individual glucose molecules. Insulin causes cells in the liver. As its level is a central metabolic control mechanism. Glucagon turns off glycolysis in the liver. it has several other anabolic effects throughout the body. Glucagon also stimulates the release of insulin. When glucagon binds to the glucagon receptors. and release them into the bloodstream. glucose is not taken up by body cells and the body begins to use fat as an energy source or gluconeogenesis. Insulin stops the use of fat as an energy source by inhibiting the release of glucagon. Glucagon helps maintain the level of glucose in the blood.y Insulin is a hormone that is central to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. for example. Its effect is opposite that of insulin. causing glycolytic intermediates to be shuttled to gluconeogenesis. its status is also used as a control signal to other body systems (such as amino acid uptake by body cells). by transfer of lipids from adipose tissue to the liver for mobilization as an energy source. When insulin is absent. so that glucose can be taken up and used by insulin-dependent tissues. which is a starch-like polymer chain made up of glucose molecules. in a process known as glycogenolysis. glucagon then encourages the liver to synthesize additional glucose by gluconeogenesis. which lowers blood glucose levels.

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