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endocrine system – Definition | OpenMD.com

(endocrine gland/system) Ductless glands that secrete substances which are released directly into the circulation and which influence metabolism and other body functions.

CRISP Thesaurus

National Institutes of Health, 2006

The system of glands that release their secretions (hormones) directly into the circulatory system. In addition to the ENDOCRINE GLANDS, included are the CHROMAFFIN SYSTEM and the NEUROSECRETORY SYSTEMS.

NLM Medical Subject Headings

U. S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), 2018

Collective designation for those tissues capable of secreting hormones.

NCI Thesaurus

U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI), 2017

A system of glands and cells that make hormones that are released directly into the blood and travel to tissues and organs all over the body. The endocrine system controls growth, sexual development, sleep, hunger, and the way the body uses food.

NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

U. S. National Cancer Institute (NCI), 2017

The endocrine system—the other communication system in the body—is made up of endocrine glands that produce hormones, chemical substances released into the bloodstream to guide processes such as metabolism, growth, and sexual development. Hormones are also involved in regulating emotional life.

WebMD, 2019

The endocrine system coordinates functioning between different organs through hormones, which are chemicals released into the bloodstream from specific types of cells within endocrine (ductless) glands. Once in circulation, hormones affect function of the target tissues, which may be another endocrine gland or an end organ. Some hormones…

Merck & Co., Inc., 2020

Human endocrine system, group of ductless glands that regulate body processes by secreting chemical substances called hormones. Hormones act on nearby tissues or are carried in the bloodstream to act on specific target organs and distant tissues. Diseases of the endocrine system can result from the…

Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. , 2020

Endocrine system, any of the systems found in animals for the production of hormones, substances that regulate the functioning of the organism. Such a system may range, at its simplest, from the neurosecretory, involving one or more centres in the nervous system, to the complex array of glands…

Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 2020

What does endocrine system mean?

Endocrine system

The endocrine system is a chemical messenger system consisting of hormones, the group of glands of an organism that secrete those hormones directly into the circulatory system to regulate the function of distant target organs, and the feedback loops which modulate hormone release so that homeostasis is maintained. In humans, the major endocrine glands are the thyroid gland and the adrenal glands. In vertebrates, the hypothalamus is the neural control center for all endocrine systems. The field of study dealing with the endocrine system and its disorders is endocrinology, a branch of internal medicine.Special features of endocrine glands are, in general, their ductless nature, their vascularity, and commonly the presence of intracellular vacuoles or granules that store their hormones. In contrast, exocrine glands, such as salivary glands, sweat glands, and glands within the gastrointestinal tract, tend to be much less vascular and have ducts or a hollow lumen. A number of glands that signal each other in sequence are usually referred to as an axis, for example, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.
In addition to the specialized endocrine organs mentioned above, many other organs that are part of other body systems, such as bone, kidney, liver, heart and gonads, have secondary endocrine functions. For example, the kidney secretes endocrine hormones such as erythropoietin and renin. Hormones can consist of either amino acid complexes, steroids, eicosanoids, leukotrienes, or prostaglandins.The endocrine system is in contrast to the exocrine system, which secretes its hormones to the outside of the body using ducts. As opposed to endocrine factors that travel considerably longer distances via the circulatory system, other signaling molecules, such as paracrine factors involved in paracrine signalling diffuse over a relatively short distance.
The word endocrine derives via New Latin from the Greek words ἔνδον, endon, “inside, within,” and “exocrine” from the κρίνω, krīnō, “to separate, distinguish”.

Endocrine System : Target Cells

Endocrine Disruption Endocrine System : Target Cells

  1. Hormones and Target Cells
  2. Finding a Partner

and Target Cells
Hormones are powerful messenger molecules that control essential
body functions by carrying messages from endocrine glands to
target cells and tissues. Some hormonal actions cause short-term
changes, such as a faster heartbeat or sweaty palms. Others
dictate long-term development, such as bone and muscle growth.
Still other hormones control continual body functions, such
as maintaining body fluids, heart rate and metabolism.

Hormones have many unique features and interact with target
cells in specific ways.

  • Natural hormones are potent. That is, very small amounts
    cause a response.
  • The same hormone can be made by different glands. For
    instance, both the ovaries and the adrenal gland release
  • A hormone can have different effects depending on the
    target cell’s location, the gender of the individual and
    the species. For instance, estrogen released from a women’s
    ovaries prepares the uterus for monthly mentrual cycles,
    while the same molecule binds with bone cells to maintain
    bone strength.
  • Hormones influence gene expression by binding DNA in a
    cell’s nucleus. That is, hormones turn on certain genes
    that are preprogrammed to make specific proteins. These
    proteins cause a cell to respond in a new way (grow, secrete,
    metabolize, etc.).

A Partner
The endocrine system is a complex communication network made
up of specialized cells, glands and hormones. The glands release
hormones into the blood or the fluid surrounding cells in
response to stimuli from inside and outside the body.

Once released, hormones travel throughout the body looking
for target cells that contain matching receptors. The hormone
binds with the receptor, something like how a key fits a lock
to unlock a door. Hormones, like keys, need to have a compatible
receptor, or lock, in order to work. In the same way that
a skeleton key cannot open a car door, a male sex hormone
cannot produce masculine features if the target cell does
not have receptors, or locks, that can read the hormone, or
accept the key.

The protein receptor, depending on the type of hormone and
its specific message, carries out the messenger’s instructions
by either altering the cell’s existing proteins or turning
on genes that will build a new protein. Both actions create
a wide array of body responses.

CAPTION: One way steroid hormones function is by binding to specific hormone receptors inside a cell. CREDIT: Tulane University

For instance, steroid hormones, like the sex hormone groups
estrogens and androgens, seek out specific target cells and
bind to receptor proteins located inside the nucleus of the
cell, as shown below. This lock and key binding triggers the
cell’s DNA to start building certain proteins, such as another
hormone or an enzyme.

Each hormone-receptor unit produces
different cellular and body responses because each unit turns
on distinct genes that code for a specific protein. Different
proteins, in turn, cause unique biological responses: estrogens
can stimulate uterine growth and androgens can stimulate muscle

3.5 The Endocrine System – Introductory Psychology


Review Questions: 

1. The two major hormones secreted from the pancreas are:

a. estrogen and progesterone

b. norepinephrine and epinephrine

c. thyroxine and oxytocin

d. glucagon and insulin


2. The ________ secretes messenger hormones that direct the function of the rest of the endocrine glands.

a. ovary

b. thyroid

c. pituitary

d. pancreas


3. The ________ gland secretes epinephrine.

a. adrenal

b. thyroid

c. pituitary

d. master


4. The ________ secretes hormones that regulate the body’s fluid levels.

a. adrenal

b. pituitary

c. testes

d. thyroid


Critical Thinking Questions:

1. Hormone secretion is often regulated through a negative feedback mechanism, which means that once a hormone is secreted it will cause the hypothalamus and pituitary to shut down the production of signals necessary to secrete the hormone in the first place. Most oral contraceptives are made of small doses of estrogen and/or progesterone. Why would this be an effective means of contraception?

2. Chemical messengers are used in both the nervous system and the endocrine system. What properties do these two systems share? What properties are different? Which one would be faster? Which one would result in long-lasting changes?


Personal Application Questions:

1. Given the negative health consequences associated with the use of anabolic steroids, what kinds of considerations might be involved in a person’s decision to use them?



adrenal gland: sits atop our kidneys and secretes hormones involved in the stress response

diabetes: disease related to insufficient insulin production

endocrine system: series of glands that produce chemical substances known as hormones

gonad: secretes sexual hormones, which are important for successful reproduction, and mediate both sexual motivation and behavior

hormone: chemical messenger released by endocrine glands

pancreas: secretes hormones that regulate blood sugar

pituitary gland: secretes a number of key hormones, which regulate fluid levels in the body, and a number of messenger hormones, which direct the

activity of other glands in the endocrine system

thyroid: secretes hormones that regulate growth, metabolism, and appetite

Answers to Exercises

Review Questions:

1. D

2. C

3. A

4. B


Critical Thinking Questions:

1.  The introduction of relatively low, yet constant, levels of gonadal hormones places the hypothalamus and pituitary under inhibition via negative feedback mechanisms. This prevents the alterations in both estrogen and progesterone concentrations that are necessary for successful ovulation and implantation.

2.  Both systems involve chemical messengers that must interact with receptors in order to have an effect. The relative proximity of the release site and target tissue varies dramatically between the two systems. In neurotransmission, reuptake and enzymatic breakdown immediately clear the synapse. Metabolism of hormones must occur in the liver. Therefore, while neurotransmission is much more rapid in signaling information, hormonal signaling can persist for quite some time as the concentrations of the hormone in the bloodstream vary gradually over time.



adrenal gland: sits atop our kidneys and secretes hormones involved in the stress response

diabetes: disease related to insufficient insulin production

endocrine system: series of glands that produce chemical substances known as hormones

gonad: secretes sexual hormones, which are important for successful reproduction, and mediate both sexual motivation and behavior

hormone: chemical messenger released by endocrine glands

pancreas: secretes hormones that regulate blood sugar

pituitary gland: secretes a number of key hormones, which regulate fluid levels in the body, and a number of messenger hormones, which direct the

activity of other glands in the endocrine system

thyroid: secretes hormones that regulate growth, metabolism, and appetite

Neuroendocrine System – an overview

The Neuroendocrinology of Pregnancy

The neuroendocrinology of pregnancy entails an interplay among maternal, fetal, and placental endocrine systems. Pregnancy is a profound metabolic challenge that requires not only maternal neuroendocrine adaptations to facilitate the maintenance of pregnancy for the requisite duration but also maternal neuroendocrine signaling to facilitate parturition and lactation. Maternal neuroendocrine responses are required to promote maternal survival during and after labor and delivery. To meet these physiologic challenges, maternal, fetal, and placental neuroendocrine function must be coordinated.

The impact of pregnancy on the maternal endocrine system begins with the production of human hCG from the trophoblast at the time of implantation. Changes in maternal metabolism during pregnancy prioritize fetal growth and include hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, increased plasma lipids, and more efficient plasma amino acid transport. There is an immediate increase in maternal metabolism that increases further as pregnancy progresses. Lactation also carries an enormous metabolic demand. Maternal adaptation to the infant’s schedule functions as both a psychologic and metabolic stressor. The typical infant does not display circadian rhythms, including a night-asleep, day-awake sleep pattern, until about 12 weeks after birth.

The enlargement of the anterior pituitary gland during pregnancy largely reflects a 10-fold increase in lactotrope size and number. Somatotrope and gonadotrope cell numbers are reduced; corticotrope or thyrotrope numbers are stable (Foyouzi et al., 2004). The marked increase in estrogen levels of placental origin during pregnancy enhances pituitary prolactin synthesis and secretion leading to circulating prolactin levels that are approximately 20 times higher during pregnancy. Amniotic fluid prolactin levels are 10–100 times higher than in the maternal circulation, reflecting decidual production. Serum prolactin levels return to the baseline of nonpregnancy approximately 7 days after delivery in the absence of lactation. With breastfeeding, basal prolactin levels remain elevated but gradually decrease; however, during suckling, there is a brisk rise in prolactin levels within 30 min (Foyouzi et al. , 2004). GH levels in the maternal circulation remain unchanged throughout pregnancy. The placenta synthesizes and secretes biologically active GnRH and maternal pituitary gonadotropin production decreases throughout pregnancy. The thyroid gland enlarges to meet metabolic demand, but TSH levels during the first trimester are significantly lower than those in the second and third trimesters or in the nonpregnant state, primarily because of the intrinsic thyrotropic activity of hCG (Glinoer, 1997). Women with hypothyroidism need supplementation because their thyroid gland will be unable to respond to placental hCG with the needed increase in thyroxine (Alexander et al., 2004).

The maternal hypothalamus and pituitary gland and placenta are sources of circulating adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and CRH during pregnancy (Petraglia et al., 2010). Placental CRH is identical to the hypothalamic CRH in structure, bioactivity, and immunoreactivity (Chan et al., 1988). Exogenous CRH stimulates the release of ACTH from both tissues in a dose-dependent manner. Maternal ACTH levels rise during pregnancy followed by a drop just before parturition and a marked 15-fold increase during the stress of delivery (Petraglia et al., 2010). ACTH concentrations return to the prepregnancy level within 24 h of delivery. CRH concentrations increase due to placental production resulting in high CRH levels in maternal serum during pregnancy, an exponential rise during the “late” third trimester, and a peak during labor (Riley et al., 1991). Both CRH and ACTH levels become undetectable within 24 h after delivery (Goland et al., 1986). Interestingly, while glucocorticoids inhibit the release of maternal CRH and ACTH, they stimulate the expression of placental CRH (Riley et al., 1991). The enhanced cortisol production is due to an increase in the maternal plasma ACTH concentrations and responsiveness of the adrenal cortex to ACTH stimulation during pregnancy (Lindsay and Nieman, 2005). Cortisol secretion follows maternal ACTH secretion and the diurnal rhythm of maternal cortisol is maintained during pregnancy. As a result of the hyperestrogenemia of pregnancy, hepatic production of cortisol-binding globulin is increased, which in turn results in decreased clearance of cortisol and a threefold rise in total plasma cortisol by week 26, when the levels plateau until the onset of labor (Lindsay and Nieman, 2005). Fig. 1.3 shows the integration of maternal, fetal, and placental HPA pathways (Petraglia et al., 2010). Premature activation of maternal and fetal stress pathways by emotional, infectious, and behavioral stressors may result in premature labor (Petraglia et al., 2010). Placental CRH concentrations increase in response to proinflammatory cytokines and glucocorticoids and thus have a pivotal role in the establishment, continuation, and termination of pregnancy (Margioris et al., 1988; Petraglia et al., 2010).

Fig. 1.3. CRH and urocortin (Ucn) secretion in preterm delivery: the placenta represents the major source for CRH, whereas the fetus abundantly secretes Ucn, adrenal DHEA, and CRHBP in maternal circulation (Petraglia et al. , 2010).

Oxytocin is a peptide neurohormone produced by hypothalamic neurons that project to the posterior lobe of the pituitary (Satake et al., 1999). Oxytocin is synthesized by neurons in the supraoptic and periventricular nuclei of the hypothalamus and released as a prepropeptide from the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland (Renaud and Bourque, 1991). Major functions of oxytocin include uterine contractility and milk ejection. Oxytocin levels parallel the increase in maternal serum levels of estradiol and progesterone. The levels increase further with cervical dilation and vaginal distention during labor and delivery, stimulating contraction of the uterine smooth muscles and enhancing fetal expulsion (Zeeman et al., 1997).

Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia | MD Anderson Cancer Center

The endocrine system includes glands that make hormones and release them into the bloodstream. Hormones control many processes of the body, including mood, growth and development, metabolism, sexual function and reproduction.

The major endocrine glands that can be affected by MEN syndromes are:

  • Pituitary
  • Thyroid
  • Parathyroid
  • Adrenal
  • Pancreas

MEN syndromes are often passed down in families. They can be found in people of any age. About half of the children of people with multiple endocrine neoplasia inherit the disease.

There are several different types of multiple endocrine neoplasia.

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1)

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1), also called multiple endocrine adenomatosis or Wermer’s syndrome, is found in one in 30,000 people. It can affect people of any age, ethnic group or gender. It is caused by mutations in the MEN1 gene, which is a tumor suppressor gene. Mutations of the MEN1 gene “disable” tumor suppression, causing unregulated cell division that leads to tumor formation. All children of a parent with MEN1 have a 50% chance of developing the disease.

In MEN1, tumors grow in certain glands of the endocrine system. They tend to develop in more than one gland. If you have only one affected endocrine gland, you probably do not have MEN1.

While these tumors usually are benign, they may cause problems by releasing too much hormone or growing against other parts of the body. However, about half of people with MEN1 will eventually develop cancer.

MEN1 tends to cause tumors in the following parts of the body:

Parathyroid gland: Almost all people with MEN1 develop parathyroid gland tumors. These are usually the first glands affected by MEN1. The four parathyroid glands are near the thyroid gland in the front of the neck. MEN1 tumors may cause them to make too much parathyroid hormone (PTH). This is called hyperparathyroidism, and it leads to high levels of calcium in the blood. This is called hypercalcemia. If hypercalcemia is not treated, you may develop kidney stones or kidney damage, and your bones may become thin.

Pituitary gland: MEN1 can cause benign (non-cancerous) tumors in the front part of the pituitary gland. The most common is prolactinoma. People with MEN1 can develop other pituitary tumors that do not make hormones or that secrete other hormones such as growth hormone, adrenocorticotropin hormone and thyroid stimulating hormone. Symptoms of a pituitary tumor are usually due to the tumor pressing on other nearby structures and can include headaches and changes in vision.

Prolactinomas can interfere with sexual function and fertility, and tumors secreting growth hormone over time can cause acromegaly (enlargement of the bones). Adrenocorticotropin-producing tumors can cause Cushing’s syndrome. Pituitary tumors generally respond well to medication; however, in some instances surgical removal of the tumor or radiation is necessary.

Pancreas: Tumors also may form in the islet cells of the pancreas and the lining of the duodenum (the first portion of the small intestine), which can secrete several hormones involved with endocrine function. Tumors that develop in the pancreas can be benign or malignant. However, malignancy is rare before the age of 30.

Gastrinomas are the most common functional pancreatic tumor in people with MEN1 and can cause Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (ZES). Symptoms of ZES include elevated levels of gastrin, ulcers, inflammation of the esophagus, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

The second most common functional pancreatic tumor in MEN1 is insulinoma. Surgery is the main treatment for hypoglycemia due to an insulinoma. Except for insulinoma, the effects of hormone-secreting pancreatic tumors are typically well managed with medication. The role of surgery in the treatment of other pancreatic tumors depends on each individual case.

Adrenal gland: These tumors usually are benign.

Other types of tumors may form, including:

  • Lipomas: Benign fatty tumors that develop under the skin in about 30% of people with MEN1
  • Carcinoid tumors of the thymus gland, lung or stomach
  • Facial angiofibromas, collagenomas or benign thyroid adenomas

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN2)

MEN2A and MEN2B are caused by mutations in the RET gene. People with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN2) have a 95% chance of developing medullary thyroid cancer. MEN2 is divided into three types:

Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 2A (MEN2A): People with MEN2A often develop:

  • Medullary thyroid cancer when they are young adults
  • Pheochromocytomas (adrenal tumors)
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Cutaneous lichen amyloidosis, an itchy skin condition

Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 2B (MEN2B): MEN2B may cause:

  • Medullary thyroid carcinoma in early childhood
  • Pheochromocytomas (adrenal tumors)
  • Physical characteristics, including being tall and slender
  • Small benign tumors on the lips and tongue
  • Enlargement and irritation of the large intestine
  • Thickening of the eyelids and lips
  • Abnormalities of bones of feet and thighs
  • Curvature of the spine

Familial Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma (FMTC) is medullary thyroid cancer that develops in multiple members of the same family without the presence of pheochromocytoma and/or hyperparathyroidism. Genetic testing of blood samples can confirm a diagnosis of MEN2 and identify family members at risk of developing the disease. Depending on the specific RET mutation, predicting the severity and progression of the disease to some degree is possible.

This is helpful in determining screening recommendations, as well as the appropriate age for performing a prophylactic thyroidectomy (surgery to remove the thyroid before disease strikes). General recommendations are to remove the thyroid gland:

  • Within the first six months of life for individuals with MEN2B
  • By five to 10 years of age for individuals with MEN2A and FMTC

However, these recommendations depend on the patient’s personal and family history. A genetic counselor can discuss genetic testing with you and your family, answer any questions and help you make an informed decision.

Pheochromocytomas in multiple endocrine neoplasia 2

Pheochromocytoma is a tumor that occurs in the adrenal medulla that makes excess hormones called catecholamines (such as adrenaline). A pheochromocytoma is diagnosed in about 50% of people with MEN2A and MEN2B, although they do not occur in true FMTC. Pheochromocytomas may also occur in both adrenal glands in MEN2. Although a pheochromocytoma is a tumor, it is rarely malignant in MEN2.

If detected early, pheochromocytomas are easily treated. However, if not treated, they may be potentially fatal due to dangerously high blood pressures that can occur during accidents, surgery, childbirth or other physically stressful situations.

Research shows that many cancers and related diseases could be prevented if people applied everything known about cancer prevention to their lives.

Multiple endocrine neoplasia risk factors

Anything that increases your chance of getting a particular disease is a risk factor. Multiple endocrine neoplasia is caused by gene mutations that are handed down in families.

  • MEN1 is caused by gene mutations in the MEN1 gene
  • MEN2 is caused by gene mutations in the RET gene

If you have any of the MEN syndromes, your children have a 50% chance of developing the disease.

Learn more about multiple endocrine neoplasia:

We recommend genetic counseling for anyone with MEN or a family history of the disease. Visit our genetic testing page to learn more.

15.1B: Comparing the Nervous and Endocrine Systems

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  1. Key Points
  2. Key Terms
  3. Nervous System
  4. Endocrine System

The nervous system and endocrine system both use chemical messengers to signal cells, but each has a different transmission speed.

Learning Objectives

  • Distinguish between the nervous system and the endocrine system

Key Points

  • The nervous system can respond quickly to stimuli, through the use of action potentials and neurotransmitters.
  • Responses to nervous system stimulation are typically quick but short lived.
  • The endocrine system responds to stimulation by secreting hormones into the circulatory system that travel to the target tissue.
  • Responses to endocrine system stimulation are typically slow but long lasting.

Key Terms

  • hormone: A molecule released by a cell or a gland in one part of the body that sends out messages affecting cells in other parts of the organism.
  • neurotransmitters: Endogenous chemicals that transmit signals from a neuron to a target cell across a synapse.

The body must maintain a constant internal environment, through a process termed homeostasis, while also being able to respond and adapt to external events. The nervous and endocrine systems both work to bring about this adaptation, but their response patterns are different. The nervous system and the endocrine system use chemical messengers to signal cells, but the speed at which these messages are transmitted and the length of their effects differs.

Nervous System

The nervous system responds rapidly to stimuli by sending electrical action potentials along neurons, which in turn transmit these action potentials to their target cells using neurotransmitters, the chemical messenger of the nervous system. The response to stimuli by the nervous system is near instantaneous, although the effects are often short lived. An example is the recoil mechanism of an arm when touching something hot.

Endocrine System

The endocrine system relies on hormones to elicit responses from target cells. These hormones are synthesized in specialized glands at a distance from their target, and travel through the bloodstream or inter-cellular fluid. Upon reaching their target, hormones can induce cellular responses at a protein or genetic level.

This process takes significantly longer than that of the nervous system, as endocrine hormones must first be synthesized, transported to their target cell, and enter or signal the cell. However, although hormones act more slowly than a nervous impulse, their effects are typically longer lasting.

Additionally, the target cells can respond to minute quantities of hormones and are sensitive to subtle changes in hormone concentration. For example, the growth hormones secreted by the pituitary gland are responsible for sustained growth during childhood.




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Definition of endocrine system general meaning and concept. What is the endocrine system

An ordered module of interconnected elements that interact with each other, is called by the system. These elements can be real (physical) or conceptual (abstract).

Endocrine , on the other hand, is an adjective that is used in biology to denote what belongs to or is related to hormones or internal secretions . When applied to glands, this term refers to those that secrete products that they excrete directly into blood .

Therefore, the endocrine system is formed by a set of endocrine glands . Its components are organs, which secrete hormones that enter the bloodstream and are responsible for regulating various functions of the body.

For example, growth, metabolism, tissue function and mood are regulated by hormones.The endocrine system provides cellular communication that responds to stimuli, releasing hormones and stimulating various metabolic functions of the body.

Among the glands that are part of the endocrine system, thyroid gland , pituitary gland and adrenal gland can be distinguished. The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck, above the trachea. It consists of two lobes connected by an isthmus, produces proteins and regulates the body’s sensitivity to other hormones.

The pituitary gland , also known as the pituitary gland, is located at the base of the skull and has the function of regulating homeostasis. The adrenal glands , on the other hand, are located above the kidneys and are responsible for regulating the response to stress from the synthesis of catocholamines and corticosteroids.

The following two most famous diseases of the endocrine system are described:


The main characteristic of diabetes is the presence of very high blood glucose levels.Insulin is a hormone responsible for ensuring that cells receive the energy they need from glucose, which enters the body through the food we eat.

We can talk about type 1 diabetes , when the body does not produce insulin, and type 2 diabetes (more often than the first), if insulin is not produced and used by the body correctly. Prediabetes , on the other hand, occurs when blood sugar levels are above normal, although not as high as in diabetes.

This disease of the endocrine system can have serious consequences for the body , including kidney, nerve and eye injuries, as well as heart disease, limb amputation and stroke.

A blood test can be requested to check for diabetes, and it is advisable to keep fit and follow a healthy and balanced diet to monitor it, keeping a constant eye on blood glucose levels.


Although many people do not consider obesity a disease, it can have serious consequences for our health.In short, this is excess body fat and should not be confused with 90,045 overweight , which may be due to a combination of muscle mass, bone size and body water, in addition to fat. On the other hand, neither of the two conditions are healthy.

How can you be obese? Consuming 90,045 calories, in quantities higher than those consumed by the body, although this proportion is different for each person. Frequent physical activity and a diet without saturated fat is a good start to avoid this endocrine disorder.

It is important to note that obesity increases the risk of strokes, certain types of cancer, heart disease, arthritis and diabetes.

endocrine system – Translation into English – examples Russian





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I still believe it is endocrine system .

He has an endocrine system failure .

This whole endocrine system?

The nervous system is working as it should, and his endocrine system is in excellent condition.

His central nervous system is working within normal parameters, and his endocrine system is in terrific shape.

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definition of Hormones and synonyms of Hormones (English)

From Wikipedia – the free encyclopedia

Hormones (Greek.Ορμόνη) – signaling chemicals secreted by the endocrine glands directly into the blood and having a complex and multifaceted effect on the body as a whole or on certain organs and target tissues. Hormones serve as humoral (blood-borne) regulators of certain processes in certain organs and systems.

There are other definitions, according to which the interpretation of the concept of a hormone is broader: “signaling chemicals produced by the cells of the body and affecting the cells of other parts of the body.”This definition seems preferable, since it covers many substances traditionally referred to as hormones: hormones of animals that are deprived of a circulatory system (for example, ecdysones of roundworms, etc.), hormones of vertebrates that are not produced in the endocrine glands (prostaglandins, erythropoietin, etc. ) as well as plant hormones.


Discovered in 1902 by Starling and Bayliss.


Used in the body to maintain its homeostasis, as well as to regulate many functions (growth, development, metabolism, response to changes in environmental conditions).


All hormones realize their effect on the body or on individual organs and systems with the help of special receptors for these hormones. Hormone receptors are divided into 3 main classes:

  • receptors associated with ion channels in the cell (ionotropic receptors)
  • receptors that are enzymes or associated with signaling proteins with enzymatic function (metabotropic receptors, for example, GPCR)
  • receptors for retinoic acid, steroid and thyroid hormones that bind to DNA and regulate genes.

The phenomenon of self-regulation of sensitivity through a feedback mechanism is characteristic of all receptors – at a low level of a certain hormone, the number of receptors in tissues and their sensitivity to this hormone automatically increase – a process called sensitization (as well as up-regulation, or sensitization (sensitization)) receptors. Conversely, with a high level of a certain hormone, an automatic compensatory decrease in the number of receptors in tissues and their sensitivity to this hormone occurs – a process called desensitization (as well as down-regulation, or desensitization) of receptors.

An increase or decrease in the production of hormones, as well as a decrease or increase in the sensitivity of hormonal receptors and a violation of hormonal transport leads to endocrine diseases.

Mechanisms of action

When a hormone in the blood reaches the target cell, it interacts with specific receptors; receptors “read the message” of the organism, and certain changes begin to take place in the cell. Each specific hormone corresponds exclusively to its “own” receptors located in specific organs and tissues – only when the hormone interacts with them, a hormone-receptor complex is formed.

The mechanisms of action of hormones can be different. One of the groups is made up of hormones that bind to receptors inside cells – usually in the cytoplasm. These include hormones with lipophilic properties, such as steroid hormones (sex hormones, glucocorticoids, and mineralocorticoids), as well as thyroid hormones. Being fat-soluble, these hormones easily penetrate the cell membrane and begin to interact with receptors in the cytoplasm or nucleus. They are poorly soluble in water; when transported through the blood, they bind to carrier proteins.

It is believed that in this group of hormones the hormone-receptor complex plays the role of a kind of intracellular relay – being formed in the cell, it begins to interact with chromatin, which is located in the cell nuclei and consists of DNA and protein, and thereby accelerates or slows down the work of those or other genes. By selectively affecting a specific gene, the hormone changes the concentration of the corresponding RNA and protein, and at the same time corrects metabolic processes.

The biological effect of each hormone is very specific.Although in the target cell hormones usually change less than 1% of proteins and RNA, this is quite enough to obtain the corresponding physiological effect.

Most other hormones have three characteristics:

  • they dissolve in water;
  • do not bind to carrier proteins;
  • begin the hormonal process as soon as they bind to a receptor, which can be located in the cell nucleus, its cytoplasm, or located on the surface of the plasma membrane.

The mechanism of action of the hormone-receptor complex of such hormones necessarily involves mediators that induce a cell response. The most important of these mediators are cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate), inositol triphosphate, and calcium ions.

Thus, in an environment devoid of calcium ions, or in cells with an insufficient number of them, the effect of many hormones is weakened; when using substances that increase the intracellular concentration of calcium, effects occur that are identical to the effects of some hormones.

The participation of calcium ions as a mediator ensures the effect on cells of hormones such as vasopressin and catecholamines.

However, there are hormones in which an intracellular mediator has not yet been found. Of the most famous such hormones, insulin can be called, in which cAMP and cGMP were suggested for the role of an intermediary, as well as calcium ions and even hydrogen peroxide, but there is still no convincing evidence in favor of any one substance. Many researchers believe that in this case, chemical compounds, the structure of which is completely different from the structure of intermediaries already known to science, can act as intermediaries.

Having completed their task, hormones are either broken down in target cells or in the blood, or transported to the liver, where they are broken down, or, finally, they are eliminated from the body mainly in the urine (for example, adrenaline).

Human hormones

List of the most important:

8 receptor

191991998 norepinephrine



3 beta-cells 9013

8 991998 hormone



Structure Name Abbreviation Synthesis site Mechanism of action
tryptamine melatripin 5-N-acetyl-nine-nine-nine-nine
tryptamine serotonin 5-HT enterochromaffin cells
tyrosine derivative thyroxine T4 thyroid 8 998


thyroid 8 998 thyroid gland nuclear receptor
tyrosine derivative (catecholamine) adrenaline (epinephrine) adrenal glands
tyrosine derivative (catecholamine) 90radrenalinepinephrine

tyrosine derivative (catecholamine) dopamine hypothalamus
peptide anti-Müllerian hormone (Müller inhibiting substance) AMG peptides 208 Sertoli

peptide adrenocorticotropic hormone (corticotropin) ACTH anterior lobe of the pituitary gland cAMP
peptide angiotensin, angiotensinogen peptide liver diurnal ADH posterior lobe of the pituitary gland
peptide atrial natriuretic peptide ANF heart cGMP
peptide Glucose-dependent polypeptide

glucose-dependent polypeptide PI K-cells of the duodenum and jejunum
peptide calcitonin thyroid cAMP
peptide peptide

corticotropin-releasing AK991G


corticotropin-releasing AK991 9019 cholecystokinin (pancreosimin) CCK I-cells of the duodenum and jejunum
peptide erythropoietin kidney
phytopharmaceutical 9099


peptide gastrin G-cells of the stomach
peptide ghrelin (hunger hormone)
peptide glucagon pancreas

cPA (alpha)


csA (alpha)

pancreas csA (alpha)

cPA (alpha) 90 199

gonadotropin-releasing hormone (luliberin) GnRH hypothalamus IP 3
peptide somatotropin-releasing hormone, growth hormone

hypothalamic hormone

growth hormone1991

IP 3
peptide human chorionic gonadotropin hCG, hCG placenta cAMP
peptide Peptide






somatotropic hormone (growth hormone) GH or hGH anterior lobe of the pituitary gland
peptide inhibin
peptide insulin pancreas pancreas
peptide insul other-like growth factor (somatomedin) IGF, IGF Tyrosine kinase
peptide leptin
peptide luteinizing hormone LH





hypophysis 9099


melanocyte-stimulating hormone MSH anterior pituitary cAMP
peptide neuropeptide Y
peptide peptide oxytocin


hormone PTH parathyroid gland cAMP
peptide prolactin anterior pituitary gland
peptide 9019 secret





small intestine
peptide somatostatin SRIF pancreas (delta cells of the islets of Langerhans), hypothalamus
peptide peptide





peptides anterior pituitary gland cAMP
peptide thyrotropin-releasing hormone TRH hypothalamus IP 3 glucocorticoles


mineralocorticoid aldosterone adrenal cortex straight
sex steroid (androgen) testosterone testes nuclear receptor deeroy steroids

DHEA adrenal cortex nuclear receptor
sex steroid (androgen) androstenediol ovaries, testicles direct
steroid 9099
sex steroid (estrogen) estradiol ovarian follicular apparatus, testes straight
sex steroid (progestin) progesterone




calcitriol kidneys straight
eicosanoid prostaglandins seminal fluid
eicosanoid leukotrienes white blood cells



eicosanoid thromboxane platelets


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186. Ridker, P.M. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein Text. : potential adjunct for global risk assessment in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease / P.M.Ridker // Circulation. 2001. – Apr 3. -Vol. 103, No. 13.-P. 1813-1818.

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188. Risk stratification for postoperative cardio-vascular events via noninvasive assessment of endothelial function Text. : a prospective study / N. Gokce [et al.] // Circulation. 2002.- Vol. 105. – P. 1567-1572.

189. Rondinone, C.M. Adipocyte-derived hormones, cytokines, and. mediators Text. / C.M. Rondinone // Endocrine. 2006. – Feb. – Vol. 29, no. L.-P. 81-90.

190. Ross, R. Atherosclerosis an inflammatory disease Text. / R. Ross // N. Engl. J. Med. – 1999. – Vol. 340. – P. 115-126.

191. Schernthaner, G. Cardiovascular mortality in type-2 diabetes mellitus Text. / G. Schernthaner // Diabetes Res. Clin. Prac. 1996. – Vol. 31. -P. 3-13.

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195. Seven-year changes in body fat’and visceral adipose tissue in women: associations with indexes of plasma glucose-insulin homeostasis Text. / S. Lemieux [et al.] // Diabetes Care. 1996. – Vol. 19. – P. 983-991.

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198. Stamler, J. Blood pressure, systolic and 1 diastolic, and cardiovascular risk Text. : US population data / J ‘. Stamler, R. Stamler, J. Neaton // Arch. Intern. Med. 1993. – Vol. 153. – P. 598-615.

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212. Yokoyama, H. Recent Advances of Intervention to Inhibit Progression of Carotid Intima-Media Thickness in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Text./ H. Yokoyama, N. Katakami, Y. Yamasaki // Stroke. -2006. Vol. 37. – P. 2420-2427.

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Arthrosis and osteoarthritis of the wrist joint

The wrist joint is one of the most important elements of the musculoskeletal system of the human body.This fragile joint is located at the junction of the hands and bones of the forearm. Most often, this area is subject to injury, degenerative changes are much less common here. Arthrosis of the wrist joint is a rather rare disease that can greatly reduce the quality of human life. Constant stress and injury provoke the degradation of cartilage tissue, which is subsequently accompanied by pain and difficulty in movement. So osteoarthritis of the wrist joint develops, bringing serious discomfort.The mobility of the joint is sometimes reduced by half, which brings severe discomfort in the process of performing everyday, habitual manipulations.

Symptoms of arthrosis and osteoarthritis

It is difficult to recognize these diseases in the initial stages. Patients often do not pay attention to mild pain, and when it becomes severe enough, the disease is already started.

  • Pain on movement, causing discomfort and serious inconvenience in everyday activities.This is one of the most characteristic symptoms of arthrosis and osteoarthritis of the wrist joint.
  • Pain when trying to lean on the palm, bending the hand, carrying heavy objects.
  • In some cases, edema occurs, swelling appears in the affected areas.
  • Crunching joints, feeling of limited movement.

Types and degrees of diseases

  • Arthrosis and osteoarthritis of the 1st degree has not very pronounced symptoms and is manifested by slight pain after exertion, especially monotonous.Once the joints return to rest, the pain disappears.
  • The development of the 2nd degree of the disease is accompanied by the appearance of more pronounced problems – pain and discomfort that do not go away for a long time. There is a crunch in the joints, swelling in the phalanges. The patient tries not to make painful movements.
  • The third degree is manifested by an increase in deformities, the appearance of deforming osteoarthritis, pain at rest, and restriction of movement. At this stage, the cartilaginous layer is almost completely destroyed, bone growths may appear along the edges of the joints.Due to a decrease in motor activity, the muscle tone of the entire arm decreases.

Which doctor to contact

It is insidious and develops almost without symptoms until it becomes severe. For example, deforming arthrosis can develop as a result of trauma (post-traumatic arthrosis) and not be felt until serious, difficult-to-treat changes appear. You can go to a therapist, describe the problem and get an appropriate referral, or visit a rheumatologist right away.Also, a dermatologist, urologist and other specialized doctors can be involved in solving the problem.


For an accurate diagnosis, which is extremely important for successful treatment, a set of diagnostic measures is needed:

  • Examination, questioning of a patient at an appointment with an orthopedist.
  • Palpation.
  • X-ray in two or three projections, depending on the clinical picture.
  • General analyzes.
  • Ultrasound, CT or MRI as needed.
  • Consultation of other specialists, if necessary.


Osteoarthritis can be primary – developing in a healthy joint, or secondary – developing in a joint that has already been affected by some disease. The factors that contribute to the occurrence of deforming osteoarthritis are as follows:

  • Gender – women are much more susceptible to the development of arthrosis of the joints.
  • Age – after 65 years of age, almost 90% of people have pathology with joints.
  • Overweight, endocrine disorders.
  • Excessive stress on the wrist joint. Hard physical work, professional sports.
  • Launched inflammatory processes in the joints.
  • Heredity.


In each case, the approach to how to treat the disease may be different.It depends on the degree of the disease, the reasons that caused it, the patient’s condition, damage to the right or left wrist. Among the main methods:

  • Exercises, special remedial gymnastics.
  • Physiotherapy.
  • Treatment with medicines.
  • Compliance with proper nutrition, daily regimen.
  • Wearing chondroprotectors to aid in the cartilage repair process.
  • Taking drugs, injections to help restore cartilage.

When the disease progresses to an advanced stage, the patient can only be helped with surgery and prosthetics.

It is important to understand that this disease is of a chronic nature, which means that medical procedures will have to be carried out constantly. However, the earlier osteoarthritis of the wrist joint is diagnosed, the more timely therapy will begin and the destructive changes in the cartilage tissue will be less. This determines the importance of referring to an orthopedist at the slightest signs of pathology in the articular region.

Sign up for a specialist consultation

Experienced specialists work in the main Russian hospital – the Central Clinical Hospital of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. With an accurate diagnosis, they help patients with serious joint diseases. In particular, we are talking about deforming arthrosis of the wrist joint. Patients from the capital and regions can sign up for a consultation with traumatologist or rheumatologist by phone, or using a convenient online form on the website of the medical institution.


Recovery is aimed at returning motor activity and joint function. Basically, rehabilitation consists in doing gymnastics, therapeutic exercises, as well as establishing a balanced nutrition system. Also, good results are obtained by wearing fixing bandages, dressings, to accelerate the restoration of cartilaginous tissue.

For the prevention of deforming osteoarthritis and other similar diseases – maintenance of normal body weight, refusal of heavy loads, attentive attitude to changes in health.

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Using Tg (Vtg1: mcherry) Zebrafish Embryos to Test the Estrogenic Effects of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds

There are a significant number of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds (EDCs), which are among the most dangerous substances in our environment.These are mainly estrogenic compounds that pollute water from natural resources. The chemical diversity of substances belonging to the group makes it difficult to test for their presence, since their detection requires different analytical methods. Based on their chemical structure, it is very difficult to determine whether a substance is actually able to act as an estrogen. In addition, these substances are never present in their pure form in the environment, so their effects can be affected by other compounds, too 1. This problem can be solved by using effect-detection methods such as the use of biomonitors / bioindicator organisms that show estrogenic effects 2, , 3, , 4 , 5 .

Recently, various cell lines 6 and yeast based test systems 2 , 3 have been developed to detect estrogenic effects. However, they are usually only able to detect the binding of a substance to the estrogen receptor 2 , 3 .In addition, they are unable to simulate complex physiological processes in the body or detect hormone-sensitive phases of life stages; thus, they often lead to false results.

It is known that some genes are sensitive to estrogen in living organisms 7. Detection of gene products by molecular biology methods is also possible at the level of protein or mRNA 8, 9 , but usually includes animal prey. Animal welfare laws have become stricter and there is a growing demand for alternative test systems that minimize the number and suffering of animals used in experiments or replace an animal model with another system model 10 .With the discovery of fluorescent proteins and the creation of biomarker lines, transgenic technologies provide a good alternative 11. With these lines, the activation of an estrogen-sensitive gene can be tested in vivo.

Among vertebrates, fish have an uncommon potential in assessing environmental risk. They offer many advantages over mammalian models: as aquatic organisms, they are able to absorb pollutants through their entire body, produce large numbers of offspring, and some of their species have short generation times.Their endocrine system and physiological processes show great similarity with other vertebrates and even mammals, including humans 12.

Several genes are also known for eliciting estrogenic effects in fish. The most important are the aromatase-b estrogen receptors, choriogenin-H, and vitellogenin (btg) 7 , 13 . More recently, several estrogen-producing biosensor lines have also been created from fish models used in the laboratory, such as Zebra (Danio rerio ) 4 , 5 , 14 , 15 , 16 , 17 .The main advantage of the zebra in the creation of biosensor lines is the transparent body of embryos and larvae, because the fluorescent signal of the reporter can be easily studied in vivo without sacrificing animals the same person at different times of treatment 18.

These experiments use the vitellogenin reporter of the transgenic zebra line 15 . The transgenic construct used to develop Tg (vtg1: mCherry), has a long (3.4 kbp) naturally occurring Vitellogenin-1 promoter.The estrogen receptor (ER) is a ligand-activated protein enhancer that is a member of the steroid / nuclear receptor superfamily. The ER binds to specific DNA sequences called estrogen response elements (EREs) with high affinity and transactivates gene expression in response to estradiol and other estrogenic substances, so the more ERE in the promoter elicits a stronger response 19 . There are 17 ERE sites in the area of ​​the Tg promoter (vtg1: mCherry) transgene build, and they are expected to mimic the expression of the native vtg gene 15 .There is continuous expression of fluorescent signal in sexually mature females. However, in males and embryos, liver expression is only seen with estrogen treatment (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Red fluorescent signal in the liver of vtg1: mCherry transgenic adult zebra and 5 dpf embryos, following 17th-estradiol (E2) induction. In females and males treated with E2 (25 μg / L exposure time: 48hrs), strong liver fluorescence is visible even through pigmented skin.No fluorescent signal is visible in untreated males (). After E2 induction (exposure time 50 μg / L: 0-120 hp), a red fluorescent signal can also be observed in the liver of 5 dpf embryos, which is not visible in control (B ) embryos. While the fluorescent signal is constantly present in adult females, primarily males and line embryos are suitable for detecting estrogenic effects. (BF: bright field, mCherry: red fluorescent filter view, unambiguous images, scale bar A: 5mm, scale bar B: 250 μm) Please click here to view a larger version of this figure.

Like endogenous vitellogenin, the mCherry reporter is only expressed in the liver. Since vitellogenin is only produced in the presence of estrogen, there is no fluorescent signal in the controls. Because the expression is only in the liver, the evaluation of the results is much easier 15 .

The sensitivity and usability of embryos of this line were investigated on various estrogenic mixtures, as well as on ecological samples 15, , 20 , and in most cases the dose-response relationship was documented ( Figure 2 ).However, in the case of highly toxic, mainly hepatotoxic substances (for example, zearalenone), only a very weak fluorescent signal can be seen in the liver of the treated embryos and the maximum intensity of the fluorescent signal evoked can be achieved within a very small concentration range, which makes it difficult to establish. dose-effect relationship 20 .

Figure 2: Dose-response diagram (A) and fluorescence images (mCherry) of the liver (B) exposed to 17-3-ethinylestradiol (EE2), at 5 dpf vtg1: mCherry larvae. Results are expressed as an integrated density generated from signal strength and lesion size (SEM, n 60). 100% refers to the observed maximum. The intensity of the fluorescent signal gradually increased with concentration. Scale bar # 250 m.Please click here to view a larger version of this figure.

There are several estrogenic substances present in the environment, 17-e-estradiol (ecological concentration: 0.1-5.1 ng / L) 21, 17-ethinylestradiol (ecological concentration: 0.16-0, 2 g / l) L) 22 , zearalenone (ecological concentration: 0.095-0.22 μg / l) 23 , bisphenol-A (ecological concentration: 0.45-17.2 mg / l) 24 …When testing these substances in pure active form using transgenic mCherry embryos, the lowest observed concentration of effect (LOEC) for detecting fluorescent signs was 100 ng / L for 17-th estradiol, 1 ng / L for 17-3-ethinylestradiol, 100 ng / l for zearalenone and 1 mg / l for bisphenol-A (96-120 hp), which is very close to or within the environmental concentrations of substances 15 .