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secreted by endocrine cells, chemical signal, circulates in bodily fluids, regulates behavior of other cells.

target cells

have a receptor that binds the specific hormone

endocrine/circulating hormone

enters blood vessels, circulated across entire body

local hormones

limited distribution, stay in interstitial fluids or very localized blood vessels. Paracrine and autocrine.


endocrine and target cells are near each other


endocrine cells has receptors for its own hormone self regulatory

mechanisms of hormonal action

effect of hormone on target cell

open/close ion channel

changes membrane potential (relaxation or contraction of muscle)

change behavior of enzymes inside target cell

changes cell metabolism, changes secretion

change genetic expression of target cell

express or supress specific genes

endocrine glands

secrete hormones into the interstitial fluid surrounding the secretory cells rather than into ducts.

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