ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

General Considerations In Endocrinology And The Endocrine System

Updated on February 7, 2014

The Endocrine System

Developmentally, the origin of the endocrine system can be traced back to all the three germ layers. Though the components of the endocrine system can be conventionally classified into separate groups, based on their anatomy
Developmentally, the origin of the endocrine system can be traced back to all the three germ layers. Though the components of the endocrine system can be conventionally classified into separate groups, based on their anatomy | Source

A General Overview

Functions of the endocrine system may be considered under the following heading:

  1. Maintenance of cellular constancy of the body,
  2. Maintenance of the constancy of body fluids (microhomeostasis).
  3. Control of metabolic processes
  4. Growth and differentiation of tissues
  5. Reproduction and
  6. Adaptation of changes in the external environment (fluid, food and electrolyte availability).

The effector arms of the endocrine system are hormones or chemical messengers which are secreted by specialized cells and released into circulation in response to specific signals. There are specific cells in the tissues which can recognize hormonal signals because of the presence of specific receptors. Hormones also serve to communicate information between the cells. Endocrine dysfunction may manifest as overt clinical disorders such as Cushing’s syndrome and acromegaly or silent biochemical abnormalities like hyperglycemia or failure of control mechanisms as in gonadal disturbances.

In addition to organized tissues like thyroid and adrenal which are composed of groups of endocrine cells, many tissues like the gut and brain are provided with single cells which secrete hormones. These hormones diffuse to other cells to produce their effect. These cells are called paracrine cells. Biological responses are also under control of other substances such as the neurotransmitters like catecholamines and acetylcholine, prostaglandins, histamine, kinins and slow reacting substance- A (SRS-A). Intracellular chemicals like cyclic 3,5-adenosine monophosphate (Cyclic AMP), cyclic GMP) and calcium act as second messengers for exerting the biological activity of hormones on cells.

Developmentally, the origin of the endocrine system can be traced back to all the three germ layers. Though the components of the endocrine system can be conventionally classified into separate groups, based on their anatomy and location, the explosion of information in this field has brought to light several other tissues which have endocrine function in addition to the well recognized glands.

The Various Endocrine Organs

These hormones diffuse to other cells to produce their effect. These cells are called paracrine cells. Biological responses are also under control of other substances such as the neurotransmitters like catecholamines and acetylcholine, prostaglandins
These hormones diffuse to other cells to produce their effect. These cells are called paracrine cells. Biological responses are also under control of other substances such as the neurotransmitters like catecholamines and acetylcholine, prostaglandins | Source

The Endocrine Glands

The endocrine glands can be broadly grouped into:

The pituitary-thyroid gonadal-adrenal axis (Classical endocrine system): These glands act in unison through feedback control and modulate biological activity of distant target cells and organs.

The neuroendocrine system derived from neurectoderm: This is composed of neurosecretory cells. The central component of this system is formed by the brain-pituitary system and peripheral component is made up of scattered paracrine cells in many organs. The paracrine system is seen mainly in the gastrointestinal tract, adrenal medulla and the ‘c’ cells of thyroid. These paracrine cells are capable of amine precursor uptake and decarboxylation (APUD), which is necessary for the formation of amine or peptide hormones.

Tissues which produce humoral substances which circulate in association with the known hormones e.g prostaglandins and kinins: These exert strong physiological responses and tend to modulate effects. The hormones belong to three chemical classes- peptides, steroids and amines.

The endocrine system and its glands are of huge significance to Man, as they facilitate basic metabolic processes which sustain Man and keep him alive.

© 2014 Funom Theophilus Makama

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)