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endocrine system

-consists of ductless glands
-glands secrete chemical substances called hormones: chemical signals


-classified as either proteins or steroids
-secreted directly into blood

anterior pituitary

-secretes GH: growth hormone: stimulates & maintains blood glucose levels during fasting periods
-secretes PRO: prolactin: stimulates milk production in women

posterior pituitary

-TSH: thyroid stimulating hormone
-stimulates thyroid glands
-ACTH: adrenocorticotropic hormone: stimulates adrenal cortex
-ADH: antidiuretic hormone: stimulated by reabsorption of water by kidney
-oxytocin: stimulates uterine contractions in childbirth

2 types of cells

1. follicular cells: regular metabolic rate (T3 & T4)
2. parafollicular cells:secrete calcitonin, decrease blood calcium levels

adrenal gland

-plays role in "fight or flight"
-secretes epinephrine & norepinephrine
-secretes sex hormones


-secretes insulin: low blood glucose levels
-secretes glucagon: high blood glucose levels


ovaries: secrete estrogen & progesterone
testes: secrete testosterone

thymus gland

plays important role in immune response

pineal gland

-"biological clock"
-secretes melatonin

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