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ENDOCRINE PHYSIOLOGY

:
INTRODUCTION & OVERVIEW

By
Dr. M. Anthony David, MD,
Professor of Physiology
NERVOUS & ENDOCRINE CONTROL
SYSTEMS: A CONTRAST

 NERVOUS  ENDOCRINE
SYSTEM SYSTEM
 Mechanism of  Mechanism of
control: control:
 Neurotransmitters  Chemical
released in messengers
response to nervous delivered to target
stimuli. tissues.
 Target Cells:  Target Cells:
 Muscles  Virtually any or all
 Glands of the cells of the
NERVOUS & ENDOCRINE CONTROL
SYSTEMS: A CONTRAST
 RESULTANT  RESULTANT
ACTION: ACTION:
 Muscular  Changes in
contraction Metabolic Activities.
 Glandular secretion  TIME TAKEN FOR
 TIME TAKEN FOR ONSET OF ACTION:
ONSET OF ACTION:  Seconds to hours or
 Milliseconds. days.
 DURATION OF THE  DURATION OF THE
ACTION: ACTION:
 Generally short.  Generally long.
ENDOCRINE SYSTEM: WHAT?

 Endocrines: Without ducts: Ductless
glands.
 A group of glands all of which lack ducts or
specific channels to release their
secretions.
 All of them secrete or produce “Chemical
Messengers” or Hormones.
 Hormones by definition bring metabolic
changes in target tissues.
 The target tissues are usually far away
from the endocrine glands.
WHY ENDOCRINE SYSTEM?
4 MOST IMPORTANT PURPOSES

1. HOMEOSTASIS.

3. COMBATING STRESS.

5. GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT.

7. REPRODUCTION.
ENDOCRINES ARE USEFUL FOR…
1. HOMEOSTASIS

 Endocrines help us
in maintaining the
homeostasis of:
 Temperature:
Thermoregulation
or thermostasis.
 Metabolism
 Nutrition:
Glucostasis
 Acid Base Balance
ENDOCRINES ARE USEFUL IN…
2. COMBATING STRESS
 INFECTION

 TRAUMA

 SHOCK
ENDOCRINES ARE USEFUL FOR…
3. GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT
 Increase in the
cell number:
Hyperplasia

 Increase in cell
SIZE:
Hypertrophy.
ENDOCRINES ARE USEFUL FOR… 4.
REPRODUCTION
 The Male and
female Gonads
secrete:
 Sex Hormones

 These sex
hormones cause
the development of
 Primary sex organs
 Secondary sexual
characteristics.
ENDOCRINE PHYSIOLOGY:
METHODS OF STUDY
 DESCRIPTIVE: ANATOMICAL
 CHEMICAL:
 Proteins
 Amino acids, Polypeptides, etc.
 IMMUNOLOGICAL
 EXPERIMENTAL
 CLINICAL:
 Hypo
 Hyper
DESCRIPTIVE STUDIES
 Anatomical:
 There is a
structure,
looks like a
gland.
 What does it

secrete?
 Does it have a

function?
CHEMICAL STUDIES
 Proteins
 Polypeptides
 Amino acids
 Do they have any physiological
actions?
 Experiment to find out.
 Beginning with existing secreted
chemicals.
IMMUNOLOGICAL STUDIES

 RIA: Radioactive Immuno Assay
 ELISA: Enzyme Linked Immuno
Sorbent Assay
 Other techniques to study properties
of hormones
 Using such techniques to study
hormones & their physiological
actions.
EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES
 Using Animal models
 Extirpation: Removal or destruction
of a gland.
 Substitution:
 Of the active agent or solution
 Transplantation:
 Of the gland to cause restitution of
function.
CLINICAL STUDIES
 Study of clinical cases
 Hypo functioning of glands:
 What functions are missing?
 Hyper functioning of the glands:
 Which functions are exaggerated?
ENDOCRINE GLANDS
 HYPOTHALAMUS  PLACENTA
 PITUITARY GLAND  MISCELLANEOUS
 THYROID GLAND ENDOCRINE GLANDS:
 Thymus
 PARATHYROID
 Pineal
GLANDS
 Kidney
 ADRENAL GLANDS  GIT
 ENDOCRINE  Heart
PANCREAS  Local hormones
 GONADS:
 TESTES
 OVARY
CLASSICAL ENDOCRINE GLANDS IN THE BODY

Testes
Ovaries
HORMONES PRODUCED IN THE
BODY
 HYPOTHALAMUS:
 CRH, TRH, GHRH, GHIH, GnRH, PIH.
 ANTERIOR PITUITARY GLAND:
 GH, ACTH, TSH, FSH, LH, Prolactin.
 POSTERIOR PITUITARY GLAND:
 ADH, & Oxytocin.
 THYROID GLAND:
 Thyroxin, T3, Calcitonin.
HORMONES PRODUCED IN THE
BODY
 ADRENAL CORTEX:
 Aldosterone, Cortisol, Sex steroids.
 ADRENAL MEDULLA:
 Epinephrine, Norepinephrine, Dopamine.
 ENDOCRINE PANCREAS:
 Glucagon, Insulin, Somatostatin, Pan
polypeptide.
HORMONES PRODUCED IN THE
BODY
 TESTES:
 Testosterone, Estrogen, Inhibin.
 OVARY:
 Estrogens, Progesterone, Relaxin.
 PLACENTA:
 Estrogens, Progesterone, HCG, HPL.
 THYMUS:
 Thymosin.
 PINEAL GLAND:
 Melatonin.
ENDOCRINE PHYSIOLOGY:
APPLIED PHYSIOLOGY
 HYPERSECRETION:
 Excessive Production of hormones due to:
 Tumors in the gland.
 Excess tropic influence.
 Results in:
 Clinical syndromes with signs/symptoms due to:
 Increased blood levels of the hormone
 Example: Hyperthyroidism: Thyroxin levels
 Clinical features: Fine tremor, Anxiety, PR, 
BMR
 Acromegaly:  Growth Hormone.
ENDOCRINE PHYSIOLOGY:
APPLIED PHYSIOLOGY
 HYPOSECRETION:
 Drop in the production of hormones due
to:
 Excision of gland: Eg: Parathyroids.
 Hypofunctioning of gland cellls: Eg: Diabetes
milletus.
 Decreased tropic influence.

 Results in:
 Clinical features/ syndromes due to
  blood levels of the hormone
HYPOTHALAMO
-HYPOPHYSIAL AXIS
By
Dr. M. Anthony David, MD
Professor of Physiology
WHAT IS Hypothalamo-
Hypophyseal AXIS?
 The connection between the
Hypothalamus, a part of the Nervous
System and the Endocrine System.
 The part of the Nervous System
involved is the Hypothalamus.
 The part of the Endocrine System
involved is the Pituitary gland, also
called as Hypophysis Cerebri.
THE ENDOCRINE ORCHESTRA
HYPOTHALAMUS
THYROID
 The Endocrine
ADRENAL
glands act as if
they are a part of
an orchestra.
 The Conductor is
the Pituitary
Gland.
OVARY
 The brains of the
Conductor, which
runs him, is the
Hypothalamus!
HYPOTHALAMO-HYPOPHYSIAL
CONNECTIONS
VASCULAR NEURAL
 Between the Median  Between the
Eminence of the Supraoptic &
Hypothalamus & the Paraventricular Nuclei
Anterior Pituitary. in the Hypothalamus
 The Hypothalamo- & the Posterior
hypophysial portal Pituitary.
system.  The Hypothalamo-
 Vascular connection: hypophysial tract.
 Carries  Neural connection:
Hypophysiotropic  Carries the secreted
hormones. hormones, ADH &
Oxytocin, from the
Hypothalamus to the
Post Pituitary.
H-H AXIS: Physiologic
Anatomy
HYPOTHALAMIC HORMONES

 Synonym: Hypophysio-tropic
Hormones.
 Secreted and released by the
Hypothalamic neuro-secretory cells,
to act on the Anterior Pituitary cells.
 May be Stimulatory or Releasing
Hormones or Inhibitory in nature.
 This hypothalamo - hypophysial
system is a Cascade Amplifier.
CASCADE AMPLIFICATION
HYPOTHALAMUS
Hypophysiotropic
Hormones in Nanograms
Eg: TRH

ADENOHYPOPHYSIS
Adenohypophysial tropic
Hormones in Micrograms
Eg: TSH

TARGET GLAND
Hormone
In Milligrams
Eg: Thyroxine
HYPOPHYSIOTROPIC
HORMONES
 The neuro-secretory cells in the
Hypothalamus in turn are regulated
by numerous nerve pathways
projecting on to the Hypothalamus.
HYPOPHYSIOTROPIC
HORMONES
 GONADOTROPIN RELEASING HORMONE
(GnRH)
 GROWTH HORMONE RELEASING
HORMONE(GHRH)
 GROWTH HORMONE INHIBITING HORMONE
( SOMATOSTATIN ) (GHIH)
 THYROTROPIN RELEASING HORMONE
(TRH)
 PROLACTIN INHIBITING HORMONE (PIH)
 CORTICOTROPIN RELEASING HORMONE
HYPOTHALAMUS
GHIH
GnRH GHRH TRH PIH CRH
SS

FSH GROWTH TSH PROLACTIN ACTH
LH HORMONE

ANTERIOR PITUITARY
RELEASING FACTORS INHIBITING FACTORS
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HYPOTHALAMO-HYPOPHYSIAL
NERVOUS TRACT
REVIEW: H- H AXIS
 Two connections between the two
Control systems:
 Vascular: Between the ME of
Hypothalamus & the Anterior Pituitary or
Adenohypophysis.
 “The H-H Portal System”
 Neural: Between the SO & PV Nuclei in
the Hypothalamus & the Posterior
Pituitary or the Neurohypophysis.
 “The H-H Nervous Tract”