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Human Endocrine Physiology Assignment Add in library

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1) Explain why the endocrine system is regarded as one of the integrative systems of the body? What other physiological system also has this function?

2) What is the difference between an endocrine, exocrine gland and a mixed gland?  Give an example of each type of gland.

3) What pancreatic tissues are involved in exocrine and endocrine secretions, outline their respective secretions.

4) What is the difference between diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus? Outline the characteristic symptoms of diabetes insipidus?

5) Outline the hormones secreted by the adrenal medulla? What are their respective functions?

6) Why and what hormones produced by the adrenal gland are used in transplant patients?


1. The human endocrine system has integrative characteristics as the hormones generated by the endocrinal glands are the substances which act on a particular cell or tissue system at a distance and many others act in diverse body organs (Dubitzky, Southgate and Fuss, 2011). The human endocrinal system can obtain information from particular regions of the system ad can produce effects in the other areas. This system also provides functional assimilation for the body.

The other physiological system which also has this function includes nervous system. The nervous system incorporates the system through a nervous network and connected to the peripheral and central neurons. The human endocrinal system integrates the system through hormones which travel through the blood circulation and are generated by the endocrinal glands. This designation is significant as both the nervous and endocrinal systems regulate and control biological functions and operate at distance obtaining information from different cells, tissues and organs and conveying efficient commands too tissues and organs, such as: hormones or nerve impulses and thus integrating the human system.


Endocrine gland

Exocrine gland

Mixed gland

Secretions of the glands called hormones, collected by blood and contact the cells, tissues or organs through circulation

Secretions of these glands are released through ducts externally into the intestinal lumen, mouth and skin.

Have both endocrine and exocrine portions.

Examples: pituitary gland, thyroid gland and adrenals

Examples: salivary glands, sebaceous glands and gastric gland

Example: seromucous gland, some sceretory cells are mucous and some secretory cells are serous. The cells of this gland secrete fluid intermediate varying between more thick mucoid substance and also watery substance (Goodenough, McGuire and Wallace, 2005). Pancreas is also an example of mixed gland.

Ductless glands

May or may not have ducts

Pancreas secretes hormones within the blood circulation, for example: glucagon and insulin and also releases exocrine secretion, like: pancreatic juice.

Discharge secretion directly to the blood

Secrete enzymes


Secrete hormones

Secretion is directly poured at the action site or reaches the end


Control long term function

Control short term function


Pancreatic tissues are involved in endocrine and exocrine secretions. The exocrine secretion of pancreas is generated within the pancreatic acini. These are the aggregates of secretory cells, which surround tiny exocrine ducts. The exocrine cells of pancreas release digestive enzymes of pancreatic juice: trypsin, chymotripsin, amylase, carboxypeptidase, lipase, elastase, gelatinase, deoxyribonuclease and ribonuclease. The endocrinal secretion of pancreas is generated and secreted by tiny cell groups dispersed throughout organ, known as islets of Langerhans. These cells make somatostatin, glucagon and insulin. Several hormones take part in the carbohydrate metabolism regulation. Four of these hormones are secreted by islets of Langerhans within the pancreas: 2glucagon and insulin with major functions on the metabolism of glucose and 2pancreatic polupeptide and somatostatin with adjusting actions on glucagon and insulin secretion (Freeman, 2007). Other hormones that affect the metabolism of carbohydrate include: growth hormone, glucocorticoids, epinephrine and thyroid hormones. All these hormones are polypeptides. Insulin is released by beta cells, whereas, other hormones are produced by gastrointestinal mucosa. Both glucagon and insulin are important in carbohydrate regulation, lipid and protein metabolism.


4. Diabetes mellitus is said to be the disease reasoned by poor secretion of insulin by the pancreas or by damaged capturing of insulin by the cells. Diabetes insipidus is said to be the disease brought about deficient secretion of anti-diuretic hormone by pituitary gland or by damaged kidney sensitivity to this anti-diuretic hormone (Scobie, Samaras and Campbell, 2009). Hence, in a nutshell, diabetes mellitus is said to be a condition where an individual is suffering from high level of blood sugar and diabetes insipidus is a rare condition, which causes excessive thirst and frequent urinatiom and that is because of inadequate anti-diuretic hormone production by hypothalamus. Urination is less common in diabetes mellitus.

In diabetes insipidus blood lacks anti-diuretic hormone and therefore, tubular water resorption is diminished within the kidneys and huge amount of urine is generated. Diabetes insipidus affected patients urinate extensively and frequently in a day (Parker and Parker, 2004). This indication can also present by polydipsia and by dehydration. Polydipsia is the condition while patient feels very thirsty and rise water ingestion (Shapiro, 2013). Other signs include wanting to get up to urinate during the night time, which is also termed as nocturia and bed-wetting.

5. The medullary region of adrenals exudes catecholamine group hormones, these are:  adrenaline (epinephrine) and noradrenaline (norepinephrine) (Fox, 2013). Apart from their hormonal functions noradrenaline and adrenaline work as neurotransmitters. The neurons which utilize them as neurotransmitters are termed as adrenergic neurons.

Adrenaline augments the process called glycogenolysis that means transformation of glycogen into glucose and thus raising basal metabolic rate and glycemia of the system. Nor adrenaline and adrenaline are secreted during risk situations, for example: flight response and these hormones strengthen the heartbeat rate and selectively adjust blood irrigation within some tissues by selective vasoconstriction and selective vasodilation. By the process of vasodilation these hormones increase blood supply towards the brain, heart and muscles and by vasoconstriction these hormones reduce the supply of blood to the kidneys, gastrointestinal tract and skin. Noradrenaline and adrenaline which promote vasoconstriction and vasodilation are known as vasoactive substances.

6. Glucocorticoids are used in transplant patients. These patients have a tendency to host versus graft rejection as their immune system has a propensity for attack the grafted organs. This is because of grafted tissue recognition as foreign substance. To treat and prevent this complication patients are administered with immunosuppressant or glucocorticoids. Glucocorticoids have immunosuppressant activity and therefore they diminish the antagonism of immune system against graft. Nevertheless, immune action is very important for individual. The immune system protects the human system against infection and invasion by pathogens, such as: bacteria, virus, and toxins. Individuals administered with immunosuppressant like glucocorticoids are under the risk of neoplastic and infectious diseases.



Dubitzky, W., Southgate, J. and Fuss, H. (2011). Understanding the dynamics of biological systems. New York: Springer.

Fox, S. (2013). Human physiology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Freeman, H. (2007). Pancreatic endocrine and exocrine changes in celiac disease. WJG, 13(47), p.6344.

Goodenough, J., McGuire, B. and Wallace, R. (2005). Biology of humans. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Parker, J. and Parker, P. (2004). The official patient's sourcebook on diabetes insipidus. San Diego, CA: ICON Health Publications.

Scobie, I., Samaras, K. and Campbell, I. (2009). Diabetes mellitus. Abingdon, Oxford, UK: Health Press.

Shapiro, M. (2013). Diabetes Insipidus: A Review. Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism, s6(01).

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