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The Endocrine System

B. Pimentel, M.D.
Univeristy of Makati
College of Nursing
Functional Organization

• Endocrine system are composed of glands that secrete


chemical signals into the circulatory system.
• Endocrine Glands – secret chemicals into the body.
• Hormones – secretory products of endocrine glands,
chemical signal
• Ligand – chemical signal of the hormone.
– Produced in small quantities by a group of cells.
– Secreted into the interstitial space
– Enters circulatory system, where it is transported
– Enters a target tissue, where it imparts an influence on the
function of that tissue.
Nervous and Endocrine System

Amplitude Modulated Signals

• Hormones secreted by most endocrine glands

• Either an increase or decrease in hormone secretion

• Concentration of the hormone in the circulatory has a


direct response on the target tissue
Nervous and Endocrine System

Frequency Modulated Signals

• All or none principal of the nervous system

• Low frequency or low action potential will result in a


weak signal

• Strong action potential will result in a strong response


to the stimulus.
Nervous and Endocrine System

Response

• Endocrine system often has a slower and longer


duration of action on target tissues and is more
generally distributed throughout the body.
• Nervous system faster response and shorter duration
than the endocrine system

Exceptions:
• Neurohormones released by neurons secrete into the
circulatory system and function similar to endocrine
hormones.
• Some neurons directly innervate endocrine glands
and influence the secretory activity.
Intercellular Chemical Signals

Intercellular Description Example


Chemical
Signals
Autocrine Secreted by cells in a local area and Prostaglandins
influences the activity of the same
cell type from which it was secreted.

Paracrine Produced by a range of tissues and Histamine


secreted into tissue spaces; usually Prostaglandin
has a localized effect on other tissue.  

Hormone Secreted into the blood by specialized Thyroxine,


cells, travels some distance to target Insulin
tissues, influences specific activities.
Intercellular Chemical Signals

Intercellular Description Example


Chemical Signals

Neurohormone Produced by axons and function Oxytocin,


as hormones Antidiuretic
hormone
Neurotransmitter Produced by neurons and Acetylcholine
or secreted into the extracellular Epinephrine
neuromodulator space by presynaptic nerve
terminals, travels short distances,
influences post synaptic cells.
Pheromone Secreted into the environment, Sex pheromones
modifies physiology and
behavior of other individuals.
Structural Categories of Hormones
Category Examples
Proteins Growth hormone, Prolactin, Insulin
Glycoprotein Follicle stimulating hormone
Lutenizing hormone
Thyroid stimulating hormones
Parathyroid hormone
Polypeptides Thyrotropin releasing hormones
Oxytocin
Antidiuretic hormone
Calcitonin
Glucagon
Adrenocorticotropin hormone
Endorphins
Thymosin
Melanocyte stimulating hormones
Hypothalamic hormones
Lipotropins
Somatostatin
Structural Categories of Hormones

Category Examples

Amino Acid derivatives Epinephrine


Norepinephrine
Thyroid hormones (T3 & T4)
Melatonin

Lipids Estrogens
Steroids (cholesterol Progestins
precursor) Testosterone
Mineralcorticoids
Glucocorticoids
Structural Categories of Hormones

Category Examples

Lipids Prostaglandins
Fatty acid Thromboxanes
Prostacyclins
Leukotrienes
Regulation of Hormones

1. Non Hormonal Regulation of Hormone secretion.


Glucose a carbohydrate in the blood stream regulates
the secretion of insulin (hormone).

a.    Increased blood glucose stimulates increased insulin


secretion from the pancreas.

b.     Insulin increases uptake of glucose by cells, which


decreases levels of glucose in the blood.
Regulation of Hormones

2.  Nervous system regulation of hormonal secretion.


The sympathetic division of the nervous system. The
adrenal gland secretes epinephrine or Norepinephrine
(fight or flight).

a.    Stimuli such as stress or exercise activates the


sympathetic nervous system.

b.    Neurons stimulate the release of epinephrine and


smaller amounts of Norepinephrine from the adrenal
medulla
Regulation of Hormones

3.   Hormonal regulation of hormone secretion.


Hormones can stimulate or inhibit the secretion of
other hormones.

a.    Thyroid releasing hormone (TRH) is released from


neurons in the hypothalamus and travels in the blood to the
anterior pituitary gland.

b.    TRH stimulates the release of thyroid stimulating


hormone (TSH) from the anterior pituitary gland. TSH
travels in the blood to the thyroid gland.
Regulation of Hormones

c.    TSH stimulates the secretion of thyroid hormones


(T3 & T4) from the thyroid gland into the blood stream.

d.    Thyroid hormones act on tissues.

e. Thyroid hormones also have a negative feed back


effect on the hypothalamus and the anterior pituitary to
inhibit both TRH and TSH secretion. This negative feed
back helps keep blood thyroid hormone levels within a
normal range.  
Transport and Distribution

• Hormones are dissolved in blood plasma and


transported either in a free form or bound to a plasma
protein.

• As the concentration of the free form hormone in the


blood increases, they will diffuse to target cells.

• As the concentration of the free form hormone


decreases there are decreased diffusion, and fewer
target cells affected.
Transport and Distribution

• Hormones that are bound to plasma proteins are in


equilibrium with the free form hormone.

• Each hormone will have a specific plasma protein

• Hormones bound to plasma proteins remain at a


relatively constant concentration.

• A large decrease in the plasma protein concentration


can result in the loss of a free form hormone from the
blood.
Binding to Target Cells

1. Binding site – portion of a protein or glycoprotein


where a Ligand will bind

2. Receptor Site – a protein or glycoprotein receptor,


where the receptor site allows only a specific type of
Ligand to bind.

3. Specificity – the tendency for each type of Ligand to


bind to a specific type of receptor, and not others.
Binding to Target Cells
Binding to Target Cells

4. Membrane bound receptors – receptors for ligands


that span across the plasma membrane and have their
receptor sites exposed extracellularly.
– Examples; large hormones that are proteins glycoproteins,
polypeptides, and some smaller molecules such as
epinephrine and Norepinephrine.

5. Intracellular receptors – are for lipid soluble ligands


that can pass through the plasma membrane.
Example; thyroid, testosterone, estrogen,
progesterone, aldosterone, and cortisol.
Binding to Target Cells
Down Regulation

• The rate at which receptors are synthesized decreases


in some cells after exposure to a Ligand.

• The combination of ligands and receptors can increase


the rate at which the receptor molecules are degraded.

• Tissues that exhibit down regulation of receptor


molecules are adapted to respond to short-term
increases of the hormone concentration.
Down Regulation

Example:
– Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), which is released
from neurons of the hypothalamus → secretion of LH
(leutinizing hormone) and follicle stimulating hormone
(FSH) from the anterior pituitary cells → number of GnRH
receptors molecules in the pituitary to decrease several hours
after exposure to the hormone
Up Regulation

• Periodic increases in the sensitivity of some cells to


hormones.

• Increase of receptor molecule synthesis.

Example:
– increased number of receptor molecules for leutinizing
hormone (LH) in cells of the ovary during each menstrual
cycle. Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) molecules secreted
by the pituitary increase the rate of LH receptor molecule
synthesis in cells of the ovary.
Pituitary Gland

• 1cm. Diameter, 0.5 to 1.0 grams.


• Located on the sella turcica, inferior to the
hypothalamus and is connected to it by a stalk of
tissue the infundibulum.
• Divided into two functioning parts
– Posterior Pituitary or Neurohypophysis
• Continuous with the brain
– Anterior Pituitary or Adenohypophysis
Pituitary Gland
Pituitary Gland

Communication of the Pituitary and the Brain

• Hypothalamohypophysial Portal System – extends


from the hypothalamus to the anterior pituitary.

• Act as either releasing hormones – increasing


secretion of the anterior pituitary, or inhibiting
hormones – decreasing the secretions of anterior
pituitary hormones
Pituitary Gland

Stimulating Hormone Inhibiting Hormone Effects

Thyroid-stimulating Release of thyroid


hormone releasing stimulating hormone
hormone (TRH)
Corticotropin-releasing Release of
hormone (CRH) adenocorticotropic
hormone (ACTH)

Growth-hormone Release of growth


releasing hormone hormone
(GHRH)
Growth-hormone Inhibits the release of
inhibiting hormone growth hormone
(GHIH)
Pituitary Gland

Stimulating Hormone Inhibiting Hormone Effects

Somatostatin Inhibits the release of


growth hormone

Gonadotropin-releasing Release of luteinizing


hormone (GnRH) hormone (LH) and
Follicle stimulating
hormone (FSH)

Prolactin-inhibitory Inhibits prolactin


factor secretion
Pituitary Gland

Hormones Target Tissue Response

Posterior    

Antidiuretic Kidney Increased water


Hormone reabsorption
Oxytocin Uterus, mammary Increased uterine
glands contractions, increased
milk expulsion
Pituitary Gland

Hormones Target Tissue Response

Anterior    

Growth Most tissues Increased; growth in


Hormone tissues, amino acid uptake
and protein synthesis,
breakdown of lipids and
release of fatty acids,
glycogen synthesis, blood
glucose levels, and
somatomedin production.
Pituitary Gland

Hormones Target Tissue Response

Thyroid Thyroid gland Increased thyroid hormone


stimulating secretion
Hormone (TSH)

Adrenocorticotr Adrenal cortex Increased glucocorticoid


opic Hormone hormone secretion
(ACTH)

Lipotropins Fat tissue Increased fat breakdown


Pituitary Gland

Hormones Target Tissue Response

Beta endorphins Brain Analgesia in the brain,


inhibition of gonadotropin
releasing hormone

Melanocyte Melanocytes Increased melanin


Stimulating production to make skin
Hormone (MSH) darker

Luteinizing Ovaries Ovulation and progesterone


Hormone (LH) Testes production in ovaries;
testosterone synthesis and
support for sperm cell
production in testes
Pituitary Gland

Hormones Target Tissue Response

Follicle Follicles in ovaries in Follicle maturation and


Stimulating females; seminiferous estrogen secretion in
Hormone (FSH) tubules in males ovaries; sperm cell
production in males
Prolactin Ovaries and mammary Milk production in
glands lactating women; increased
response of follicle to LH
and FSH.
 
Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH)

• Transported to and stored in the posterior pituitary.

• Released in blood stream to the kidneys.

• Functions in the regulation of osmolality and volume


of the extracellular fluid.
Oxytocin

• Stimulates smooth muscle cells of the uterus.

• Responsible for milk ejection in lactating females.


Thyroid Gland

• Location: lateral to the superior portion of the trachea just


inferior to the larynx.

• Gross Anatomy: two lobes connected by a narrow band of


thyroid tissue called the isthmus.

• Histology: numerous follicles, which are small spheres,


composed of simple cuboidal epithelium. The center of each
follicle is filled with thyroglobulin to which thyroid hormones
are bound. Parafollicular cells are found between follicles and
produce and secrete Calcitonin.
Thyroid Gland

Hormones
• Triiodothyronine (T3) and tetraiodothyronine (T4) target most
cells of the body.
• Calcitonin targets bone tissue.

– TSH from the anterior pituitary must be present to maintain thyroid


hormone synthesis and secretion.
Thyroid Gland

Thyroid Hormone Synthesis

Iodide trapping in the follicular cells → iodide is


oxidized to iodine → released in to the follicular
colloid → combines with thyroglobulin → mono/di-
iodotyrosine (MIT, DIT) → triiodotyrosine (T3),
thyroxine (T4) bound to thyroglobulin → re-enters the
follicule cells by pinocytosis → split by lysosomes
from thyroglobulin → free T3 and T4
Thyroid Gland (Regulation)

Stimulus

hypothalamus

TRH

Ant. pituitary

TSH

Thyroid gland Negative Feedback

T3/ T4

Target organ
Thyroid Gland (Regulation)
Parotid Glands

• Location: embedded in the posterior part of each lobe


of the thyroid gland. Four parathyroid glands are
present.

• Histology: cells are organized in densely packed


cords.
Parotid Glands

• Hormone: Parathyroid hormone regulates calcium


levels in body fluids. Targets bone, kidneys, and
intestines.

• Stimulates osteoclast activity in bone and can cause


the number of osteoclasts to increase.

• Increases calcium reabsorption in the kidneys

• The primary regulation for secretion of PTH is blood


calcium levels.
Vit. D, Kidneys and Parathyroid Gland

Cholecalciferol
↓ (liver) Inhibition
25-Hydroxxholecalciferol
↓ (kidney) Activation Parathyroid hormone
1,25-Dihydroxycholecalciferol

Intestinal epithelium Inhibition

Intestinal absorption of calcium

Plasma calcium concentration
Adrenal Glands

• Location: superior poles of the kidneys.

• Gross Anatomy: surrounded by abundant adipose


tissue, enclosed in connective tissue and have a well
developed vascular supply. They are composed of an
inner medulla and an outer cortex

• Histology: the medulla consists of closely packed


polyhedral cells centrally located in the gland
Adrenal Glands
Adrenal Glands

Hormones
• Adrenal Medulla
– Epinephrine and Norepinephrine. Target tissues are heart,
blood vessels, liver and fat cells.

• Adrenal Cortex
– Three types: Mineralocorticoids, Glucocorticoids, and
Androgens.
Adrenal Glands

• Mineralocorticoids – aldosterone is the in the greatest


amount. Increases blood levels of sodium by
increasing the rate of sodium reabsorption in the
kidneys. Increases potassium secretion.

• Glucocorticoids – major one is cortisol. Targets many


cells and tissues. Increase fat catabolism, decrease
glucose and amino acid uptake in skeletal muscle,
increase gluconeogenesis, and increase protein
degradation. Also responsible for maturation of fetal
lungs

• Androgens – androstenedione, stimulates pubic and


axillary hair growth and sexual drive in females.
Adrenal Glands
Adrenal Steroid Synthesis

Cholesterol

Pregnenolone

Progesterone 17-OH-Pregnenolone

17-OH-Progesterone

Aldosterone Cortisol Androgen


Regulation Of Cortisol Sercretion

Hypothalamus

CRH

Ant. pituitary

ACTH Adrenal cortex Negative Feedback

Cortisol
Pancreas

• Location: between the greater curvature of the


stomach and the duodenum.

• Gross Anatomy: elongated structure approx. 15 cm


long. The head of the pancreas lies near the
duodenum, and its body and tail extend toward the
spleen.
Pancreas

• Histology: the pancreas is both an exocrine


and endocrine gland. The exocrine portion
contains acini, which produce pancreatic
enzymes, and a duct to the small intestine.
The endocrine portion is composed of
pancreatic islets (islets of Langerhans). These
islets contain alpha, beta, and delta cells.
Pancreas

Cells in Hormone Target tissue Response


Islets

Beta Insulin Liver, skeletal Increased uptake and use


muscle, adipose of glucose and amino
tissue acids.

Alpha Glucagon Liver Increased breakdown of


glycogen, release of
glucose into the circulatory
system
Delta Somatostatin Alpha and beta Inhibition of insulin and
cells glucagon secretion
THE END