Introduction to Endocrine Glands

Describe the role of different glands in the endocrine system

Both the endocrine and nervous systems use chemical signals to communicate and regulate the body’s physiology. The endocrine system releases hormones that act on target cells to regulate development, growth, energy metabolism, reproduction, and many behaviors. The nervous system releases neurotransmitters or neurohormones that regulate neurons, muscle cells, and endocrine cells. Because the neurons can regulate the release of hormones, the nervous and endocrine systems work in a coordinated manner to regulate the body’s physiology.

What You’ll Learn to Do

  • Describe the role of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis in the endocrine system
  • Describe the role of the thyroid and parathyroid glands in the endocrine system
  • Describe the role of the adrenal gland in the endocrine system
  • Describe the role of the pancreas, pineal gland and gonads in the endocrine system
  • Identify different organs that have secondary endocrine functions

Learning Activities

The learning activities for this section include the following:

  • Hypothalamic-Pituitary Axis
  • Thyroids
  • Adrenal Glands
  • The Pancreas, Pineal Gland, and Gonads
  • Organs with Secondary Endocrine Functions
  • Self Check: Endocrine Glands


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