The Endocrine System Essay

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The Endocrine System BIO1010 May 25, 2013 The human body is comprised of a number of systems, such as the cardiovascular system, the musculoskeletal system, and the central nervous system, and the endocrine system. The endocrine system can be considered one of the body’s communication systems, similarly to the manner in which the central nervous system is also a communication system. Put simply, the central nervous system uses electrochemical signals to transmit messages quickly through the body, while the endocrine system uses a group of chemicals called hormones to send messages more slowly, for processes that do not have to take place immediately. These systems are often complimentary; for example, the central nervous system signals for the production of small amounts of epinephrine in the “fight or flight response,” while the endocrine system maintains long-term production and supply of epinephrine under conditions where the “fight” or the “flight” will last longer than a few minutes (Wilson, 2009). The endocrine system also controls and regulates growth, sexual development, and other functions and processes. This paper will provide an overview of the basic functions of the endocrine system, examine some of the primary hormones that are utilized by the endocrine system, and discuss the organs in the endocrine system that produce these hormones. Hormones and Target Cell Function The hormones involved in the endocrine system are produced by a number of different glands, such as the thyroid gland, the pituitary gland, and the pineal gland. These hormones are sent to various parts of the body for the purpose of triggering certain responses and regulating certain processes. Hormones function by sending messages to target cells located in various organs and other parts of the body (Wilson). These target cells contain

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