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31 terms

Endocrinology Basics

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endocrine
the body's slow chemical communication system (as opposed to the nervous system); a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream
hormone
a chemical substance secreted by an endocrine gland effects distant parts of the body
endocrine gland
any of the glands of the endocrine system that secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream
hormone receptor
the part of a cell that a hormone binds to exert its effect; if a cell does not have a receptor for a hormone that hormone can not affect it
autocrine
term for hormones that act on same cells that secrete them
paracrine
hormones that affect only neighboring cells, really don't use blood vessels to circulate through the whole body
neurotransmitter
chemical used by a neuron to transmit an impulse across a synapse to another cell (some also have functions as hormones for example epinephrine a.k.a. adrenaline)
neurohormone
a hormone that is released by a neuron (e.g., norepinephrine or vasopressin)
prohormone
a substance that is a precursor to a hormone, usually modified into the hormone's final form in the endoplasmic reticulum
preprohormone
a substance that is a precursor to a prohormone, has minimal effect as a hormone itself
carrier protein
bind to and carry hormones; required for steroids and thyroid hormones to travel in the blood
releasing hormone
hormone secreted by the hypothalmus that regulates the release of other hormones from the anterior pituitary
tropic hormone
hormone secreted by the pituitary gland that stimulates the production of another hormone; also known as a stimulating hormone ( e.g., thyroid-stimulating hormone)
amino acid
basic building blocks of protein molecules
protein
a molecule that is made up of amino acids and that is needed to build and repair body structures and to regulate processes in the body; many hormones are proteins
cholesterol
chemical made of 4 carbon rings; all steroids are made by modifying cholesterol
lipid
macromolecule made mainly from carbon and hydrogen atoms; includes fats, oils, and cell membranes; will NOT mix with water
blood
circulatory fluid; aqueous (likes water, dislikes lipids); hormones must travel through blood to be circulated throughout the entire body
hydrophilic
having an affinity for water; readily absorbing or dissolving in water; implies lipophobic
hydrophobic
repelling, tending not to combine with, or incapable of dissolving in water (or other aqueous solutions, like blood); implies lipophilic
lipophilic
having an affinity for lipids; readily absorbing or dissolving in oil; able to pass directly through the cell membrane without a special channel or transport mechanism; implies hydrophobic
lipophobic
repelling, tending not to combine with, or incapable of dissolving in lipids; not able to cross the cell membrane without a transport protein; implies hydrophilic
monoamine hormone
a hormone that is a single modified amino acid; often they're also neurotransmitters and they're small enough to pass through the blood brain barrier
peptide hormone
a hormone that is a chain of amino acids, if longer than 20 amino acids or so often called a "polypeptide hormone", if longer than 200 amino acids often called a "protein hormone", really just one class of hormones
steroid
lipid molecule with four carbon rings that functions as a hormone
thyroid hormone
any of several closely related compounds that are produced by the thyroid gland and are active metabolically; they contain iodine
eicosanoid
lipid derived from arachidonic acid; function as short range messengers (paracrine) in the regulation of various physiological processes
homeostasis
the maintenance of stable internal conditions despite changes in the surroundings, i.e. glucose, calcium, & sodium concentrations, water volume, temperature, etc,
thermoregulation
the maintenance of body temperature within a range that enables cells to function efficiently
metabolism
the organic processes (in a cell or organism) that are necessary for life (i.e. digestion, growth/building cells, elimination of waste, burning/storing fat, etc.)
negative feedback
the most common control mechanism in the endocrine system; the product or response shuts off or reduces the level of the original stimulus (i.e. a high level of a hormone will signal the body to no longer produce that hormone)