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Endocrine System

Hormones are chemical substances made by endocrine glands. These glands pass the hormones directly into the bloodstream, which carries them around the body. In this way, a hormone can cause a change in the body at some distance from the gland where it was made. They are also known as Chemical Messengers.

Endocrine Organs

Pituitary Thyroid Parathyroid Adrenal Pineal Thymus Pancreas Gonads

Endocrine glands

Where the Hormone is Produced Adrenal Glands

Hormone(s) Secreted

Hormone Function


Regulates salt and water balance

Adrenal Glands


Controls key functions in the body; acts as an anti-inflammatory; maintains blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and muscle strength; regulates salt and water balance Affects water retention in kidneys; controls blood pressure
Controls production and secretion of adrenal cortex hormones Affects growth and development; stimulates protein production Controls reproductive functioning and sexual characteristics

Pituitary Gland
Pituitary Gland Pituitary Gland Pituitary Gland

Antidiuretic hormone (vasopressin)

Corticotropin Growth hormone Luteinizing hormone (LH) and folliclestimulating hormone (FSH)

Pituitary Gland Pituitary Gland Pituitary Gland Kidneys Kidneys Pancreas

Oxytocin Prolactin Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) Renin and Angiotensin Erythropoietin Glucagon

Stimulates contraction of uterus and milk ducts in the breast Initiates and maintains milk production in breasts Stimulates the production and secretion of thyroid hormones Controls blood pressure Affects red blood cell (RBC) production Raises blood sugar levels

Ovaries Ovaries Parathyroid Glands Thyroid Gland

Estrogen Progesterone Parathyroid hormone

Lowers blood sugar levels; stimulates metabolism of glucose, protein, and fat
Affects development of female sexual characteristics and reproductive development Stimulates the lining of the uterus for fertilization; prepares the breasts for milk production Affects bone formation and excretion of calcium and phosphorus

Thyroid hormone

Affects growth, maturation, and metabolism

Both endocrine and neurosecretory cells produces hormones, which is carried in the blood to the target organs.

Thymus Gland

Location upper thorax, posterior to the sternum. Size large in infant & children, decreases in adulthood Hormone thymosin & T cell (lymphocytes) Role - immunity system

Adrenal Glands

Location on top of kidneys Size bean-shaped Hormones- corticosteroids, mineralocorticoids & sex hormones Role regulate mineral of the blood

Pineal Gland

Location third ventricle of the brain Size small, cone shaped Hormone melatonin Role coordinates of fertility & reproductive system - sleep trigger: establish bodys day & night cycle

The Anterior Pituitary Gland

The hormones secreted from the pituitary and the effects they have on the body. Two hormones (ADH and oxytocin) are secreted from the posterior pituitary and six (prolactin, ACTH, growth hormone, TSH, FSH, and LH) from the anterior pituitary.

The Pituitary gland is the major and controlling gland of the endocrine system.The anterior pituitary produces a number of hormones that control hormone production in the endocrine glands. The pituitary is located near the base of the brain. About the size of a pea, the pituitary is connected to the hypothalamus by a slender pituitary stalk (hypophyseal stalk). In addition to anatomical connection via the hypophysealhypothalamic tract, the hypothalamus regulates pituitary function providing a bridge between the nervous system and the endocrine system through the hypophyseal portal system. The hypophyseal portal system is a localized collection of blood vessels that allow regulating agents secreted by the hypothalamus to travel directly to the pituitary. Neural imput can be interpreted by the hypothalamus and translated into pituitary control and therefore affect the endocrine response. The connection between the hypothalamus and the pituitary establishes a clear chain of control: nervous signals in the hypothalamus cause changes in pituitary hormone secretion that, in turn, control production of hormones in other endocrine glands. The anterior lobe secretes seven different hormones: 1. Growth Hormone (GH), 2. Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH), 3. Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH), 4. the Gonadotropins (LH and FSH), 5. Prolactin (PRL), 6. Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone (MSH).

The pituitary secretes gonadotropins, LH (lutinzing hormone) and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). In males, LH is usually referred to as interstitial cell stimulating hormone (ICSH). In females, LH acts to stimulate ovulation and the formation of the corpus luteum on an ovarian follicle. In males, the action of LH acts to stimulate testosterone production. In females, FSH stimulates estrogen secretion and supports the growth and maturation of the ovarian follicle. In males, FSH stimulates spermatogenesis, the formation of sperm cells. Pituitary stimulation of melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) contributes to the regulation of pigmentation of the skin by stimulating melanocytes to produce melanin.


The posterior lobe, produces Oxytocin and Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH). Oxytocin is secreted by the cells of the paraventricular nuclei. There are no known functions of oxytocin in males. In females, however, oxytocin plays a large role in mammary gland stimulation and contractions during birth.

Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH), also called vasopressin, is synthesized and secreted in the supraoptic nucleus. The primary function of ADH is regulation of body water and is secreted whenever the water levels in the blood are decreased. Decrease of water in the blood can be caused by osmotic diuresis (brought on by an increase in blood glucose levels, ketone bodies, or sodium loss). ADH is also secreted when mechanoreceptors (blood volume receptors) in the heart and pressure receptors in the vasculature are stimulated after blood loss. After a hemorrhage, ADH causes vasoconstriction, which leads to an increase of blood pressure.

Thyroid Gland

Location base of the throat Size large, two lobes Hormone thyroid & calcitonin Role metabolic, control of growth & development: reproductive & nervous system. Calcitonin- decrease blood calcium level Goiter lack of iodine

The Thyroid Gland

Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) stimulates thyroid growth and secretion of thyroid hormones, including Thyroxine and Triiodthyronine. Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH) stimulates adrenocortical growth (growth of cortex of adrenal glands) and the subsequent secretion of corticosteroids. There is also a negative feedback mechanism involved in ACTH production. Cortisol is the principle corticosteroid produced by the adrenal glands. As levels of cortisol increase in the bloodstream, they act to inhibit further production of ACTH by the anterior pituitary.