in Chemical Coordination and Regulation (Endocrine System) by

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The endocrine glands are located throughout our body and regulate many vital processes.

These ductless organs contain cells that secrete hormones either into the bloodstream or the fluid around cells and distributed to target cells where they alter cellular metabolism.

Some of the major Endocrine Glands and their functions are as follows:





Hypothalamic-releasing hormone

inhibit or stimulate each anterior pituitary hormone

Adrenal cortex

Glucocorticoids, Mineralocorticoids

Glucocorticoids (cortisol) - Raise blood glucose levels; stimulate breakdown of fats and proteins

Mineralocorticoids (aldosterone) - Regulate body water balance as it reabsorbs sodium and excretes potassium

Adrenal medulla

Epinephrine, norepinephrine

Target most cells of the body, increase cardiac activity, raise blood glucose level, release stored lipids


Estrogen, Progesterone

Stimulates the development of  female secondary sexual characteristics; regulates menstrual cycle; maintains growth of uterine lining


Glucagon, Insulin

Associated with most cells of the body i.e., liver, muscles and adipose tissue. While Insulin lowers blood glucose level, glucagon raises blood glucose level.

Parathyroid glands

Parathyroid hormone (PTH)

Increases calcium concentration in body fluids

Pineal gland


Also referred as 'hormone of darkness' because the rate of its secretion rises too high at night and falls during daylight.

It helps regulate certain biorhythms, such as sleep patterns (controls circadian and circannual rhythms).

Pituitary gland



  • Posterior Pituitary Gland

Antidiuretic hormone (ADH)

Promotes water retention by kidneys


Stimulates labor and milk let-down contractions

  • Anterior Pituitary Gland

Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)

Stimulates thyroid for secretion of T3 and T4

Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)

Stimulates secretion of glucocorticoids from adrenal cortex

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)

Stimulate secretion of sex hormones from the gonads (egg and sperm production)

Luteinizing hormone (LH)

Prolactin (PRL)

Stimulates milk production

Growth hormone (hGH)

Promotes growth (cell division and protein synthesis etc.)

Melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH)

Regulates skin color


Androgens (testosterone)

Stimulates the development of  male secondary sexual characteristics; stimulate sperm production

Thymus gland


It is an amino acid-based hormone that stimulates production and maturation of T lymphocytes, which help defend the body from pathogens.

Thyroid gland

Thyroxine, Triiodothyronine Calcitonin

Both the hormones, Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3) are identical hormones. These two hormones accelerate cellular metabolism in most body tissues and regulates growth and development. Calcitonin hormone decreases blood calcium concentration.


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Endocrine Glands: Endocrine Glands are ductless glands which secreats hormone (a chemical messenger) directly into blood stream.

eg pituitary gland, thyroid gland, adrenal gland etc.

Note: Exocrine glands are duct bearing glands which secreats their secretion outside the body.

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