Endocrine system

by. jessica lee

overall functions

Endocrine system's main functions are to control growth and development, control metabolism, and to maintain homeostasis.

Organs/individual roles/specialized cells

Hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, pancreas, ovary and testes are major parts that make up the endocrine system. Hypothalamus is a collection of specialized cells that is located in the lower central part of the brain. The nerve cells in the hypothalamus control the pituitary gland by producing chemicals that either stimulate or suppress hormone secretions from the pituitary. Pituitary gland is located beneath the hypothalamus and it's often called the master gland because it makes hormones that control several other endocrine glands.

Thyroid is located in the front part of the lower neck and it produces thyroid hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine that controls the rate at which cells burn fuels from food to produce energy. Parathyroids are four tiny glands that is attached to the thyroid and it releases parathyroid hormones which regulates the level of calcium in the blood with the help of calcitonin.

Adrenal glands are located one on top of each kidney. The adrenal glands have two parts and they each produce set of hormones. The outer part called the adrenal cortex produces hormones called corticosteroids that regulate salt and water balance in the body, the body's response to stress, metabolism, immune system, and sexual development and function. The inner part called the adrenal medulla produces hormones called catecholamines such as epinephrine. Also called adrenaline, epinephrine increases blood pressure and heart rate when the body experiences stress.

The pineal gland is located in middle of the brain and it secretes hormone called melatonin that may help regulate when you sleep at night and when you wake in the morning. The pancreas is also part of the hormone-secreting system because it produces and secretes digestive enzymes. Pancreas produce two important hormones called insulin and glucagon. They work together to maintain a steady level of glucose, or sugar, in the blood and to keep the body supplied with fuel to produce and maintain stores of energy.

Gonads are the main source of sex hormones. Testes, or male gonads, secrete hormones called androgens and testosterones that tell a guy's body when it's time to make the changes associated with puberty like penis and height growth, deepening voice, and growth in facial and pubic hair. Testosterone also tells a guy's body when it's time to produce sperm in the testes. Ovaries, or female gonads, they produce eggs and secrete the female hormones called estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen is involved when a girl begins to go through puberty. During puberty, a girl will experience breast growth, will begin to accumulate body fat around the hips and thighs, and will have a growth spurt. Estrogen and progesterone are also involved in the regulation of a girl's menstrual cycle and pregnancy.


Endocrine and circulatory system works together to produce and transport hormones to organs and tissues.