Human Anatomy

McKinley & O'Loughlin

First Edition

Chapter 20 : Endocrine System

Endocrine System 

Major control system 

Works with the nervous system Function: to maintain homeostasis specific communication methods affect specific target organs 

Both use 

Their methods and effects differ.


Endocrine Glands & Hormones 

Exocrine glands: ducted 

secretions released into ducts open onto an epithelial surface secrete product directly into the bloodstream 

Endocrine glands: ductless  

All endocrine cells are located within highly vascularized areas 

ensure that their products enter the bloodstream immediately.

20-5 . or cells lacking the specific receptor do not respond to its stimulating effects. tissues.Overview of Hormones  Molecules that have an effect on specific organs  called target organs  Only cells with specific receptors for the hormone respond to that hormone  called target cells  Organs.

Classification of Hormones  Peptide hormones (Hydrophilic: polar)     formed from chains of amino acids most hormones are peptide hormones longer chains are called protein hormones Example: growth hormone type of lipid derived from cholesterol Example: testosterone small molecules produced by altering the structure of a specific amino acid Example: thyroid hormone 20-6  Steroid hormones (Hydrophobic: nonpolar)    Biogenic amines (Hydrophobic: nonpolar)   .

Negative Feedback Loop   Major mechanism of hormone action Mechanism:    A stimulus starts a process Process causes release of a hormone Either the hormone or a product of its effects causes the process to slow down or turn off.  Example: the regulation of the blood glucose level in the body 20-7 .

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 Few positive feedback loops in the human endocrine system.  Example: milk release from the mammary glands 20-9 .Positive Feedback Loop  Called positive because it accelerates the original process   can ensure that the pathway continues to run can speed up its activities.

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20-11 .Hypothalamic Control of the Endocrine System   Master control center of the endocrine system Hypothalamus oversees most endocrine activity:  special cells in the hypothalamus secrete hormones that influence the secretory activity of the anterior pituitary gland    called regulatory hormones releasing hormones (RH) inhibiting hormones (IH)  Hypothalamus has indirect control over these endocrine organs.

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 An endocrine structure that secretes its hormones in response to stimulation by the sympathetic nervous system. 20-13 .  Some endocrine cells are not under direct control of hypothalamus.   oxytocin (paraventicular nucleus) antidiuretic hormone (ADH) (supraoptic nucleus)  Hypothalamus directly oversees the stimulation and hormone secretion of the adrenal medulla.Hypothalamic Control of the Endocrine System  Hypothalamus produces two hormones that are transported to and stored in the posterior pituitary.

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 (called anterior lobes and posterior lobes) 20-15 . the infundibulum. Partitioned both structurally and functionally into an anterior pituitary and a posterior pituitary. slightly oval gland housed within the hypophyseal fossa of the sphenoid bone.Pituitary Gland (Hypophysis)     lies inferior to the hypothalamus. Small. Connected to the hypothalamus by a thin stalk.

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Hormones reach the anterior pituitary via hypothalamo.hypophyseal portal system.Control of Anterior Pituitary Gland Secretions   Anterior pituitary gland is controlled by regulatory hormones secreted by the hypothalamus.   essentially a shunt takes venous blood carrying regulatory hormones from the hypothalamus directly to the anterior pituitary 20-17 .

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Both lobes of the thyroid gland are highly vascularized. giving it an intense reddish coloration. 20-20 . Regulation of thyroid hormone secretion depends upon a complex thyroid gland pituitary gland negative feedback process. which are connected at the anterior midline by a narrow isthmus.Thyroid Gland     Located immediately inferior to the thyroid cartilage of the larynx and anterior to the trachea. Distinctive butterfly shape due to its left and right lobes.

Produce and secrete calcitonin Secreted in response to elevated calcium levels Reduces blood calcium levels Acts on osteoblasts.Thyroid Gland  Follicle cells:   Produce and secrete thyroid hormone Precursor is stored in colloid Increases metabolic rate Important in growth and development.  Thyroid hormone    Parafollicular cells   Calcitonin    20-21 .

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 stimulates osteoclasts to resorb bone and release calcium ions from bone matrix into the bloodstream  stimulates calcitriol hormone synthesis in the kidney  promotes calcium absorption in the small intestine  prevents the loss of calcium ions during the formation of urine The function of oxyphil cells is not known. chief cells oxyphil cells  Usually four small nodules   Two different types of cells in the parathyroid gland:     Chief cells are the source of parathyroid hormone (PTH).Parathyroid Glands  Small. 20-25 . brownish-red glands  located on the posterior surface of the thyroid gland may have as few as two or as many as six.

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pyramid-shaped endocrine glands anchored on the superior surface of each kidney.  secrete different types of hormones 20-29 . Outer adrenal cortex and an inner central core called the adrenal medulla. Retroperitoneal and embedded in fat and fascia to minimize their movement.Adrenal Glands (suprarenal)    Paired.

  corticosteroid synthesis is stimulated by the ACTH produced by the anterior pituitary corticosteroids are vital to our survival. and sex! 20-30 . Regulates salt. sugar. trauma to or removal of the adrenal glands requires corticosteroid supplementation throughout life    Partitioned into the zona glomerulosa. Synthesize more than 25 different steroid hormones. collectively called corticosteroids. and the zona reticularis. the zona fasciculata.Adrenal Cortex   Distinctive yellow color due to stored lipids in its cell. Different functional categories of steroid hormones are synthesized and secreted in the separate zones.

sugar. glucose Resist stress. repair tissues  zona reticularis. proteins. and sex! .Adrenal Cortex  Partitioned into  zona glomerulosa   Mineralocordicoids Aldosterone  Regulates ratio of sodium and potassium  zona fasciculata   Glucocorticoids Cortisol and corticosterone   Stimulate metabolism of lipids.  gonadocorticoids  androgens 20-31  Regulates salt.

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Adrenal Medulla     Forms the inner core of each adrenal gland. The other population secretes the hormone norepinephrine (noradrenaline). 20-35   . Primarily consists of clusters of large. When innervated by the sympathetic division of the ANS. spherical cells called chromaffin cells. one population of cells secretes the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline). Pronounced red-brown color due to its extensive vascularization. Hormones work with the sympathetic nervous system to prepare the body for an emergency or fight-or-flight situation.

produce an alkaline pancreatic juice that aids digestion  Both exocrine and endocrine   Mostly composed of cells called pancreatic acini. considered a heterocrine (mixed) gland.Pancreas  Elongated. nodular organ   between the duodenum and the spleen posterior to the stomach.   Scattered among the pancreatic acini are small clusters of endocrine cells called pancreatic islets (islets of Langerhans) composed of four types of cells:    two major types (called alpha cells and beta cells) two minor types (called delta cells and F cells) each type produces its own hormone 20-36 . spongy.

also described as growth hormone-inhibiting hormone.Pancreas    Alpha cells secrete glucagon when blood glucose levels drop. Beta cells secrete insulin when blood glucose levels are elevated. or GHIH. Delta cells are stimulated by high levels of nutrients in the bloodstream. 20-37 .  synthesize somatostatin.  secrete pancreatic polypeptide to suppress and regulate somatostatin secretion from delta cells Pancreatic hormones provide for orderly uptake and processing of nutrients. which slows the release of insulin and glucagon and slows the rate of nutrient entry into the bloodstream   F cells are stimulated by protein digestion.

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cone-shaped structure attached to the posterior region of the epithalamus. is a small. Secretes melatonin.Pineal Gland   Pineal gland or pineal body.  helps regulate a circadian rhythm (24-hour body clock)  also appears to affect the synthesis of the hypothalamic regulatory hormone responsible for FSH and LH synthesis  role in sexual maturation is not well understood 20-40 .

and maturation of a category of lymphocytes called T-lymphocytes (thymus-derived lymphocytes) 20-41 . especially after puberty Functions principally in association with the lymphatic system to regulate and maintain body immunity. Size of the thymus varies between individuals. growth.  it is always relatively large in infants and children  as with the pineal gland.  hormones act by stimulating and promoting the differentiation.Thymus     A bilobed structure located within the mediastinum superior to the heart and immediately posterior to the sternum. Produces complementary hormones thymopoietin and thymosins. the thymus diminishes in size and activity with age.

and Gonads  Organs of the urinary.Endocrine Functions of the Kidneys. which secrete their own hormones.     help regulate electrolyte levels in the blood red blood cell production. blood volume. and blood pressure digestive system activities sexual maturation and activity 20-42 . GI Tract. Heart. cardiovascular. and reproductive systems contain their own endocrine cells. digestive.

Testosterone or estrogen levels decline   20-43 . especially secretion of growth hormone and sex hormones. Reduction in GH levels leads to loss of weight and body mass.Aging and the Endocrine System  Secretory activity of endocrine glands wanes.

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