CHEMICAL COORDINATIONAND INTEGRATION 22.2 HUMAN ENDOCRINE SYSTEM The endocrine glands and hormone producing diffused tissues/cells located in different parts of our body constitute Hypothalamus Pineal the endocrine system. Pituitary, pineal, thyroid, adrenal, pancreas, parathyroid, Pituitary thymus and gonads (testis in males and ovary in females) are the organised Thyroid and Parathyroid endocrine bodies in our body (Figure 22.1). In addition to these, some other organs, e.g., gastrointestinal tract, Thymus liver, kidney, heart also produce hormones. A brief account of the structure and functions of all major Pancreas endocrine glands and hypothalamus of Adrenal the human body is given in the following sections. 22.2.1 The Hypothalamus OvaryAs you know, the hypothalamus is the Testis (in female) (in male)basal part of diencephalon, forebrain (Figure 22.1) and it regulates a wide spectrum of body functions. It contains several groups of neurosecretory cells called nuclei which produce hormones. Figure 22.1 Location of endocrine glands These hormones regulate the synthesis and secretion of pituitary hormones. However, the hormones produced by hypothalamus are of two types, the releasing hormones (which stimulate secretion of pituitary hormones) and the inhibiting hormones (which inhibit secretions of pituitary hormones). For example a hypothalamic hormone called Gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) stimulates the pituitary synthesis and release of gonadotrophins. On the other hand, somatostatin from the hypothalamus inhibits the release of growth hormone from the pituitary. These hormones originating in the hypothalamic neurons, pass through axons and are released from their nerve endings. These hormones reach the pituitary gland through a portal circulatory system and regulate the functions of the anterior pituitary. The posterior pituitary is under the direct neural regulation of the hypothalamus (Figure 22.2). CHEMICAL COORDINATIONAND INTEGRATION resorption of water and electrolytes by the distal tubules and thereby reduces loss of water through urine (diuresis). Hence, it is also called as anti-diuretic hormone (ADH). 22.2.3 The Pineal Gland The pineal gland is located on the dorsal side of forebrain. Pineal secretes a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin plays a very important role in the regulation of a 24-hour (diurnal) rhythm of our body. For example, it helps in maintaining the normal rhythms of sleep-wake cycle, body temperature. In addition, melatonin also influences metabolism, pigmentation, the menstrual cycle as well as our defense capability. 22.2.4 Thyroid Gland The thyroid gland is composed of two lobes which are located on either side of the trachea (Figure 22.3). Both the lobes are interconnected with a thin flap of connective tissue called isthmus. The thyroid gland is composed of follicles and stromal tissues. Each thyroid follicle is composed of follicular cells, enclosing a cavity. These follicular cells synthesise two hormones, tetraiodothyronine or thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T). Iodine is essential for the3normal rate of hormone synthesis in the thyroid. Deficiency of iodine in our diet results in hypothyroidism and enlargement of the thyroid gland, commonly called goitre. Hypothyroidism during pregnancy causes defective development and maturation of the growing baby leading to stunted growth (cretinism), mental retardation, low intelligence quotient, abnormal skin, deaf-mutism, etc. In adult women, hypothyroidism may cause menstrual cycle Figure 22.3 Diagrammatic view of theto become irregular. Due to cancer of the thyroid gland position of Thyroid andor due to development of nodules of the thyroid glands, Parathyroid the rate of synthesis and secretion of the thyroid (a) Ventral side (b) Dorsal side hormones is increased to abnormal high levels leading to a condition called hyperthyroidism which adversely affects the body physiology. BIOLOGY SUMMARY There are special chemicals which act as hormones and provide chemical coordination, integration and regulation in the human body. These hormones regulate metabolism, growth and development of our organs, the endocrine glands or certain cells. The endocrine system is composed of hypothalamus, pituitary and pineal, thyroid, adrenal, pancreas, parathyroid, thymus and gonads (testis and ovary). In addition to these, some other organs, e.g., gastrointestinal tract, kidney, heart etc., also produce hormones. The pituitary gland is divided into three major parts, which are called as pars distalis, pars intermedia and pars nervosa. Pars distalis produces six trophic hormones. Pars intermedia secretes only one hormone, while pars nervosa (neurohypophysis) secretes two hormones. The pituitary hormones regulate the growth and development of somatic tissues which plays a very important role in the regulation of 24-hour (diurnal) rhythms of our body (e.g., rhythms of sleep and state of being awake, body temperature, etc.). The thyroid gland hormones play an important role in the regulation of the basal metabolic rate, development and maturation of the central neural system, erythropoiesis, metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, menstrual cycle. Another thyroid hormone, i.e., thyrocalcitonin regulates calcium levels in our blood by decreasing it. The parathyroid glands secrete parathyroid hormone (PTH) which increases the blood Ca2+ levels and plays a major role in calcium homeostasis. The thymus gland secretes thymosins which play a major role in the differentiation of T-lymphocytes, which provide cell-mediated immunity. In addition, thymosins also increase the production of antibodies to provide humoral immunity. The adrenal gland is composed of the centrally located adrenal medulla and the outer adrenal cortex. The adrenal medulla secretes epinephrine and norepinephrine. These hormones increase alertness, pupilary dilation, piloerection, sweating, heart beat, strength of heart contraction, rate of respiration, glycogenolysis, lipolysis, proteolysis. The adrenal cortex secretes glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids. Glucocorticoids stimulate gluconeogenesis, lipolysis, proteolysis, erythropoiesis, cardio-vascular system, blood pressure, and glomerular filtration rate and inhibit inflammatory reactions by suppressing the immune response. Mineralocorticoids regulate water and electrolyte contents of the body. The endocrine pancreas secretes glucagon and insulin. Glucagon stimulates glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis resulting in hyperglycemia. Insulin stimulates cellular glucose uptake and utilisation, and glycogenesis resulting in hypoglycemia. Insulin deficiency and/or insulin resistance result in a disease called diabetes mellitus. The testis secretes androgens, which stimulate the development, maturation and functions of the male accessory sex organs, appearance of the male secondary sex characters, spermatogenesis, male sexual behaviour, anabolic pathways and erythropoiesis. The ovary secretes estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen stimulates

RELOAD if chapter isn't visible.