At this point in my life I have a basic understanding of hormones. I know that they make up the endocrine system and are secreted from endocrine glands – including pituitary, pineal, thymus, thyroid, adrenal glands, pancreas, testes and ovaries. They are essential to life as they control many chemical changes and systems required for the body to function. The hormones that I have come across so far through school are: adrenaline, steroids, growth hormone, sex hormones, insulin and anti-diuretic hormone (ADH). They are chemical messengers which function through endocrine signalling. In endocrine signalling, the hormone (signal) is secreted into the circulatory system (blood) and carried to specific target cells in a site of the body remote from the gland.
The image above depicts endocrine signalling (Dr. Andrew Greensted, The Lab Book Pages. URL: http://www.labbookpages.co.uk/research/bioNode.html Accessed December 2014). In the image, the target cell is shown to have a receptor which the hormone binds to; this receptor is specific to the hormone in which it responds to. For example, a receptor for adrenaline will not bind a signal for thyroid hormone and vice versa.
The purpose of this study is to further my understanding of the endocrine system – including the importance of certain hormones, the glands which secrete these hormones and additional interesting factual information.