This a complicated system of hormone production and release from several small organs throughout the body.

The hormones involved accomplish a variety of actions dependent on their use and destination.

Such use is considered as a regulating system of:

-  Development
-  Puberty
-  Metabolism
-  Function of tissue
-  Function of organs and systems
-  Mood
-  other

The endocrine is made up of several types of glandular organs that release
hormones into the surrounding blood system or directly to another organ or

This process is often triggered by circular process.

It is similar to hunger – When no food is in the stomach – your stomach tells your mind that you are hungry
then you find food to eat.

Once you eat and become full then your stomach tells your mind to stop eating.

Although this analog isn’t perfect it illustrates the circular process.

Important organs of the Endocrine System

-  Pineal gland
-  Pituitary gland
-  Thyroid gland
-  Thymus
-  Adrenal gland
-  Pancreas
-  Ovary
-  Uterus
-  Placenta
-  Testes

Important types of signaling are the following:

-  Endocrine gland  -  Glands that secrete hormones directly into the blood

-  Exocrine gland  -  glands that secrete hormones into a duct system

-  Autocrine  -  Can target the same cell

-  Paracrine   -  Can target a cell in the same area



The ability of the hypothalamus is vast and amazing.

It receives several signals from the body itself as well as outside sources

Pineal Body

This is a very small gland whose main purpose is the production of melatonin.

Melatonin is a hormone that affects the sleep and wake patterns.

Pituitary gland

This is a small but very important gland in the endocrine system.

It is found just adjacent to the hypothalamus at the base of the brain.

The function of this gland is the release of several types of hormones that affect balance for the body.

There are three distinct lobes:

1.)  Anterior Pituitary   (Adenohypophysis)
2.)  Posterior Pituitary   (Neurohypophysis)
3.)  Intermediate Pituitary   (Pars intermedia)


It is an extremely large and essential gland of the body.  The body is largely in control of the metabolism of the body.

“Burning” of energy, hormonal control and warmth of the body are often attributed to the thyroid.

Several hormones are important from the thyroid:

1.)  T4   -  thyroxine
2.)  T3   -  triiodothyronine
3.)  Calcitonin


The function of the parathyroid is in regards to calcium levels.

Calcium is largely important in the muscular and Nervous systems to allow for muscular movement as well as nerve conduction.

PTH – Parathyroid hormone – is produced in the parathyroid gland


The functions of the testicles are production of sperm and male sex hormones

Endocrine control is from specific hormones that are produced in the anterior pituitary


Ovaries secrete sex hormones – Progesterone and Estrogen – these hormones help control the sexual organs and characteristics.

The monthly menstruation is closely regulated by hormones from the pituitary gland and those found in the ovaries.

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