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The Endocrine System

Endocrine system glands

Endocrine System
Ductless Glands Secret Hormones That Bind To Specific Receptors on Plasmalemma (Cytoplasmic) Hormones Pass Via Blood To Distant Target Cells. Interact with CNS Autonomic That Secret Neurotransmitters. Always Have Rich Blood Supply

Endocrine Vs CNS
Endocrines Hormones Via Blood Slow Response Relatively continuous AN. System Neurotransmitters Local Synapse NMJ Rapid Response AS Needed.

Endocrine System vs Autonomic Nervous System



Nerve impulse

Endocrine cells

Target cells

Hormone in bloodstream

Endocrine Organs
Hypothalamus- neuroendocrine gland Anterior pituitary gland- endocrine gland Posterior pituitary gland- neuroendocrine gland

Thyroid gland- endocrine gland

Parathyroid glands- endocrine gland Adrenal gland (cortex and medulla)- endocrine/neuroendocrine gland Pancreatic islets- endocrine/exocrine gland Gonads- Ovaries in females; Testes in males- endocrine/exocrine glands

Chemicals Proteins/Polypeptides: Insulin, FSH. Amino Acid Derivative: Thyroxine. Steroids: Progesterone, Testosterone. Binding of Hormone-Receptor Results in Activation of Signal Transduction Cascade.

Hormone-Receptor Complex Initiate Phosphorylation Chain. Second Messengers are Released As cAMP, cGMP. Feed Back Mechanism (Positive/Negative) between Target Cells & Glands

An intracellular signaling cascade

Fig. 15-7, p. 487

Three classes of cell-surface receptors (cont'd)

Fig. 15-12, p. 491

Three classes of cell-surface receptors

Fig. 15-12 a&b, p. 491

Types of Endocrine Glands

Three types of glands:
1. Pure endocrine glands thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal cortex, thymus and pineal. 2. Endocrine/exocrine glands pancreas, ovaries and testes 3. Neuroendocrine glands adrenal medulla and hypothalamus (supraoptic nuclei and paraventricular nuclei) to posterior pituitary.

Pituitary Gland (Hypophysis)

Measures 1.00-1.5 * 0.5 cm. Weighs about 5 gm Lies Below Hypothalamus & Attached to Inferior Surface of Brain by Infundibulum. Located in Sella Turica of Sphenoid Bone & Lined By Dura Matter Called Diaphragma Sellae Develop From Oral Ectoderm (Adenohypophysis & Neural Ectoderm (Neurohypophysis)

Pituitary Relations
Anteriorly: Sphenoid Sinus (Site Access of Surgical Operations. Posterior: Basilar Artery &Pons. Superior: Diaphramma Sellae which separates it from Optic Chiasma. Inferior: Body of Sphenoid & Sinus. Lateral: Cavernous Sinus & its Contents

Function Pituitary Gland

Its Hormones Regulate Growth, Metabolism & Reproduction. Regulated By Signals OR Hormones of Hypothalamus Hypothalamus Monitors hormones level. Hypothalamus is The CNS Center of Homeostasis.

The Hypothalamus & Pituitary

Parts of Pituitary Gland or Hypophysis

Location: Sits in the sella turcica of the sphenoid bone Attached to the hypothalamus by the infundibulum Consists of two lobes: 1. Adenohypophysis Releases 7 different hormones
Consists of 3 divisions: pars tuberalis, pars intermedia and pars distalis (anterior lobe).

2. Neurohypophysis Releases 2 different hormones

Consists of 3 divisions: median eminence, infundibular stalk and pars nervosa (posterior lobe)

Pituitary gland
Adenohypophysis Pars tuberalis Pars intermedia Pars distalis

Neurohypophysis Median eminence Infindibular stalk Pars nervosa

Pituitary Gland
2-Lobes: a. Anterior (Adenohypophysis)
b. Posterior (Neurohypophysis)
Middle Posterior Pituicyte Nuclei Anterior

Anterior Pituitary Hormones

There are seven anterior pituitary hormones:
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)* Growth hormone (GH) Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)* Melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)* Luteinizing hormone (LH) = ICSH in males* Prolactin (PRL)

* indicate trophic hormones

Hypothalamic releasing hormones

Release of anterior pituitary hormones is directed by specific releasing hormones (factors) from the hypothalamic nuclei. All of these are polypeptide molecules. TRH thyrotropin releasing hormone (TSH and PRL) GHRH growth hormone releasing hormone (GH) Somatostatin inhibits release of growth hormone CRH corticotrophin releasing hormone (ACTH) MRH- melanocyte releasing hormone (MSH) MIF- inhibits release of MSH GnRH gonadotropin releasing hormone (FSH/LH) PRH prolactin releasing hormone (PRL) PIH prolactin inhibiting hormone (dopamine)

Anterior/Posterior Pituitary Circulation

Blood flow to pituitary gland is via a portal circulation the hypophyseal portal. Arterial flow is via superior and inferior hypophyseal artery into capillary beds in series

Posterior Pituitary Hormones

ADH an Oxytocin are secreted by neurosecretory cells in the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei of the hypothalamus and are transported to posterior pituitary via hypothalamohypophyseal


Neurohypophyseal Hormones
Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) produced by supraoptic nuclei in the hypothalamus. Consists of 9 amino acids Reduces the excretion of water by kidney collecting ducts; increases cuddling and grooming behavior. Oxytocin produced by the paraventricular nuclei in the hypothalamus Consists of 9 amino acids, but differs from ADH. Induces smooth muscle contraction; increases cuddling and grooming behavior.

Pituitary Histology
Made of Cords of Cells. Surrounded by Fenestrated Sinusoids Two Types of Cells Based on Affinity to Dyes Chromophils Vs Chromophobes. Chromophils are major Type of Pars Distalis

Anterior Pituitary
The anterior pituitary is composed of the stained-rich chromophils and the clear chromophobes. Of the chromophils, acidophils are red and basophils are blue.

Ant. Post

Types of Ant.Pituitary Cell (Distalis)

Acidiphils: Sommatotrophs Mammotrophs Basophils: Corticotrophs. Thyrotrophs. Gonadotrophs

Have Scanty Cytoplasm Hence No Stain. Small Cells. Maybe Degranulated Chromophils

Pars Intermedia/Zona Intermedia

Pars Intermedia/Zona Intermedia Lies Between Pars Distalis & Pars Nervosa. Contain Cysts Remnant of Rathks Pouch Made of Cuboidal-Cell Lined Cysts.

Pars Intermedia/Zona Intermedia

Cells Stain Basophilic & Arranged In Cords. Synthesize MelanocyteStimulating Hormone. Stimulate Melanin Production. May Stimulate Prolactin Secretion

Hypthalamo-Hypophyseal Tract
Unmylinated Axons of Cells From Supraoptic & Paraventricular Nuclei of Hypothalamus Enter Posterior Pituitary & Terminate Near Capillaries These Tracts Constitute the Bulk of Post. Pituitary.

Supraoptic & Paraventricular

Cells of Supraoptic & Paraventricular Secret Anti-diuretic (ADH) & Oxytocin Hormones

Pars Nervosa (Post. Pituitary)

This is Not A True Endocrine Gland But Continuation of Hypothalamohypophy-seal Tract. Store Secretions of Their Cell-Bodies Pituicytes are Glia-Like Cells That Support Those Axons. Pituicytes Occupy 25% of Pars Nervousa Form Sheats Around Axons Axons Contain Membrane-Bound Granules of ADH & Oxytocin In Separate Axons. Chrome-Hematoxyline staining Show Blue Black Distension in Axons Called Herring Bodies. Are Non-Secretory Granules

Pars Nervosa (Post. Pituitary)

Herring bodies (arrow) are the dilated hypothalamic nerve terminals from the hypothalamus from which the posterior pituitary actually releases ADH & Oxytocin. ADH and Oxytocin are released from different Herring bodies reflecting their separate cells of origin.

Growth Hormone
Effects of Growth Horme: Generalized Increase in Cellular Metabolic Rate. Induce Somatomedins leading To Stimulation of Epiphyseal Growth Plate Length Hence Bone Growth

Clinical Applications
Pituitary Adenomas are common tumors. Extension of those tumors cause Pressure Effects on neighboring structure as Optic Chiasma (visual field defects would be bitemporal hemianopia). Tumors can grow up into the 3rd ventricle causing hydrocephalus. Rapid lateral expansion, perhaps due to hemorrhage may compress the 3rd, 4th & 6th cranial nerves. Headache may be present from stretch of the meninges. Surgery to remove pituitary tumors is usually performed through the sphenoidal sinus. Diabetes Insipidus: ADH supression causing Polyurea & Dehydration.

Thyroid Gland Two Lateral lobes connected by an Isthmus. Each lobe is about 5 cm. long; its greatest width is about 3 cm Upper Limit at level of fifth or sixth tracheal ring Lower Limit at level of junction of the middle with the lower third of the thyroid cartilage It Weighs about 30 grams. It is slightly heavier in the female, in whom it becomes enlarged during menstruation and pregnancy. Isthmus: second and third rings of the trachea

Thyroid Gland
The only Gland That Stores inactive Secreted Hrmones. Secrets Triiodothyronine-T3 & Thryoxine-T4 & Calcitonin

Thyroid Histology
Functional Unit Called Follicle Contain Homogenous Colloid. Septi From Inner Fibro-elastic Capsule Divides it into Lobules

Thyroid Follicles
Colloid material is Thyrogobulin. Follicles surrounded by Simple Cuboidal Epithelium. Active Follicles Smaller & Cuboidal Cells Taller

Thyroid gland

Follicular Cells
Thyroglobulin synthesized in Follicular cells Packed & Released into Lumen Via Apical Plasma Membrane. Basal PM of Follicular cells has Sodium/Iodide Pumps to import Plasma Iodide inside where its levels is 20-40 Folds that of Plasma. Basal PM of Follicular cells also has Receptors for TSH.

Parafollicular Cells
Within Interfollicular Spaces Present As Individual or in Clumps Clear Cells. Secret Calcitonin. Regulate Serum Calcium Levels. Inhibits Rates of Decalcification of Bones

Parafollicular Cells
The C-cells secrete calcitonin which helps lower calcium levels by inhibiting osteoclastic activity of bone resorption . These C-cells are actually named for being "clear" (as in lighter staining). Notice that they are in the interstitium and do not normally touch the follicles

Clinical Application
Levels of thyroxin affect Metabolic Rate. If increased it increase CHO and Fatty Acids Metabolism. Decrease Body Weight. Increase Heart Rate, Respiration, Muscular Activity leading to Fatigue & Tremors. Impotence in Males & Menstrual Disturbances in Females.

Parathyroid gland
Located On The Posterior Lateral Margins of the thyroid gland are 4 to 8 small nodules. Structure is small ovoid nodules ~ 2-5 mm x 3-8 mm. Produces Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) which helps regulate blood Ca++ levels. Target organs of PTH are Bone, Kidneys And Intestines. Histologically it contains numerous small chief cells and rare large oxyphilic cells.
Chief cells secrete PTH. Oxyphilic cells are probably inactive or immature chief cells.

Parathyroid glands

Embedded Within Thyroid Capsule. Septi Divides it into Lobules. Has 2-Types of Cells: Chief (Principal) Cells & Oxyphil Cells.

Oxyphil Cells: Less in Number. Larger in Size. Occur in Clumps. Dense Eosinophilic Nuclei. Number Increase with Age. No Hormone Secretion

Cell Arranged as string-like arrangement of the parathyroid cells on the right. The large, clear cells to the left are oxyphil cells They are found only in humans and increase with age.

Elongated Structure Lies in the Epigastric & Left Hypochondriac Regions. Retroperitoneal on Posterior Abdominal Wall & Crosses Transpyloric Plane. Has: Head, Body & Tail

Both Exocrine (Enzymes Hydrolyze Fats, Proteins & CHO) & Endocrine Gland Islets of Langerhans Produce Insulin & Glucagon Hormones Both Regulate CHO Metabolism.

Pancreas stained with H&E, serves both endocrine and exocrine functions. The round islets of Langerhans are the endocrine portion and serve to identify pancreatic tissue.

Islets are distinguished from the surrounding exocrine tissue by: a continuous CT capsule and an extensive microvascular in the center of the islet. Center is rich in B or beta (insulin) cells Periphery where most of the A or alpha (glucagon) cells are located. Within the islet, the glucagon-secreting alpha cells stain red while the insulinsecreting beta cells stain blue.

Adrernal Glands
2-Retroperitoneal Glands. Rt one Lies on Upper Pole of Rt-Kidneys, Left one Along upper medial border of Left Kidney. Renal Fascia Surrounds Them. Perirenal Fat Separates them From Kidney. Rt. Gland Pyramidal in Shape Lt. Gland is Crescent in Shape.

Adrenal Cortex Same Origin As Gonads Secrets Steroid Hormones; Mineralocorticoids, Glucuocorticoids & Sex Hormones. Regulated By Pituitary Trophic Hormone ACTH Adrenal Medulla Same Origin as Symathetic Nervous System (SNS) Secrets Catecholamine; Adrenalin & Noradrenaline Regulated By SNS

A Capsulated Organ Main 2-Layers: Outer Dense Cortex & Inner Pale Medulla

Layers of Adrenal Cortex: 1. Zona Glomerulosa: Cells Arranged in Irregular Clumps Separated by Trabeculae Zona Fasciculata: Widest Layer, Cells Arranged in Cords. Zona Reticularis: Thinner Inner Most, Cells in Irregular Branching Cords


Zona Glomerulosa: Cells; Round Strongly Stained Nuclei. Very Little Cytoplasm. Secrets Mainly Adosterone Zona Fasciculata: One Cell Thick Cords. Large Cells & Abundant Poorly Stained Cytoplasm Secrets Glucocorticoids Mainly Cortisol

Zona Reticularis Branching Irregular Cords of Cells. Cells Smaller & Stain Strongly. Secrets Very Little Androgen & Glucocorticoids

Adrenal Medulla
Composed of Closely Packed Basophilic Secretory Cells. Supported By Collagenous CT Containing Numerous Fenestrated Sinusoids. Many Venous Channels Draining into Central Medullary Vein