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239 239 CHEMICAL COORDINATION AND INTEGRATION
You have alr eady lear nt that the neural system provides a
point-to-point rapid coordination among organs. The neural
coordination is fast but short-lived. As the nerve fibres do not innervate
all cells of the body and the cellular functions need to be continuously
regulated; a special kind of coordination and integration has to be
provided. This function is carried out by hormones. The neural system
and the endocrine system jointly coordinate and regulate the
physiological functions in the body.
19.1 ENDOCRINE GLANDS AND HORMONES
Endocrine glands lack ducts and are hence, called ductless glands. Their
secretions are called hormones. The classical definition of hormone as a
chemical produced by endocrine glands and released into the blood and
transported to a distantly located target organ has current scientific
definition as follows: Hormones are non-nutrient chemicals which
act as intercellular messengers and are produced in trace amounts.
The new definition covers a number of new molecules in addition to the
hormones secreted by the organised endocrine glands. Invertebrates
possess very simple endocrine systems with few hormones whereas a large
number of chemicals act as hormones and provide coordination in the
vertebrates. The human endocrine system is described here.
CHEMICAL COORDINATION
AND INTEGRATION
CHAPTER  19
19.1 Endocrine
Glands and
Hormones
19.2 Human
Endocrine
System
19.3 Hormones of
Heart, Kidney
and
Gastrointestinal
Tract
19.4 Mechanism of
Hormone Action
2024-25
Page 2


239 239 CHEMICAL COORDINATION AND INTEGRATION
You have alr eady lear nt that the neural system provides a
point-to-point rapid coordination among organs. The neural
coordination is fast but short-lived. As the nerve fibres do not innervate
all cells of the body and the cellular functions need to be continuously
regulated; a special kind of coordination and integration has to be
provided. This function is carried out by hormones. The neural system
and the endocrine system jointly coordinate and regulate the
physiological functions in the body.
19.1 ENDOCRINE GLANDS AND HORMONES
Endocrine glands lack ducts and are hence, called ductless glands. Their
secretions are called hormones. The classical definition of hormone as a
chemical produced by endocrine glands and released into the blood and
transported to a distantly located target organ has current scientific
definition as follows: Hormones are non-nutrient chemicals which
act as intercellular messengers and are produced in trace amounts.
The new definition covers a number of new molecules in addition to the
hormones secreted by the organised endocrine glands. Invertebrates
possess very simple endocrine systems with few hormones whereas a large
number of chemicals act as hormones and provide coordination in the
vertebrates. The human endocrine system is described here.
CHEMICAL COORDINATION
AND INTEGRATION
CHAPTER  19
19.1 Endocrine
Glands and
Hormones
19.2 Human
Endocrine
System
19.3 Hormones of
Heart, Kidney
and
Gastrointestinal
Tract
19.4 Mechanism of
Hormone Action
2024-25
BIOLOGY 240
19.2   HUMAN ENDOCRINE SYSTEM
The endocrine glands and hormone
producing diffused tissues/cells located in
different parts of our body constitute the
endocrine system. Pituitary, pineal,
thyroid, adrenal, pancreas, parathyroid,
thymus and gonads (testis in males and
ovary in females) are the organised
endocrine bodies in our body
(Figure 19.1). In addition to these, some
other organs, e.g., gastrointestinal tract,
liver, kidney, heart also produce hormones.
A brief account of the structure and
functions of all major endocrine glands
and hypothalamus of the human body is
given in the following sections.
19.2.1 The Hypothalamus
As you know, the hypothalamus is the
basal part of diencephalon, forebrain
(Figure 19.1) and it regulates a wide
spectrum of body functions. It contains
several groups of neurosecretory cells
called nuclei which produce hormones.
These hormones regulate the synthesis
and secretion of pituitary hormones.
However, the hormones produced by
hypothalamus are of two types, the
releasing hormones (which stimulate secretion of pituitary hormones) and
the inhibiting hormones (which inhibit secretions of pituitary hormones).
For example a hypothalamic hormone called Gonadotrophin releasing
hormone (GnRH) stimulates the pituitary synthesis and release of
gonadotrophins. On the other hand, somatostatin from the hypothalamus
inhibits the release of growth hormone from the pituitary. These hormones
originating in the hypothalamic neurons, pass through axons and are
released from their nerve endings. These hormones reach the pituitary
gland through a portal circulatory system and regulate the functions of
the anterior pituitary. The posterior pituitary is under the direct neural
regulation of the hypothalamus (Figure 19.2).
Figure 19.1 Location of endocrine glands
Testis
(in male)
Ovary
(in female)
Adrenal
Pancreas
Thyroid and
Parathyroid
Thymus
Pineal
Pituitary
Hypothalamus
2024-25
Page 3


239 239 CHEMICAL COORDINATION AND INTEGRATION
You have alr eady lear nt that the neural system provides a
point-to-point rapid coordination among organs. The neural
coordination is fast but short-lived. As the nerve fibres do not innervate
all cells of the body and the cellular functions need to be continuously
regulated; a special kind of coordination and integration has to be
provided. This function is carried out by hormones. The neural system
and the endocrine system jointly coordinate and regulate the
physiological functions in the body.
19.1 ENDOCRINE GLANDS AND HORMONES
Endocrine glands lack ducts and are hence, called ductless glands. Their
secretions are called hormones. The classical definition of hormone as a
chemical produced by endocrine glands and released into the blood and
transported to a distantly located target organ has current scientific
definition as follows: Hormones are non-nutrient chemicals which
act as intercellular messengers and are produced in trace amounts.
The new definition covers a number of new molecules in addition to the
hormones secreted by the organised endocrine glands. Invertebrates
possess very simple endocrine systems with few hormones whereas a large
number of chemicals act as hormones and provide coordination in the
vertebrates. The human endocrine system is described here.
CHEMICAL COORDINATION
AND INTEGRATION
CHAPTER  19
19.1 Endocrine
Glands and
Hormones
19.2 Human
Endocrine
System
19.3 Hormones of
Heart, Kidney
and
Gastrointestinal
Tract
19.4 Mechanism of
Hormone Action
2024-25
BIOLOGY 240
19.2   HUMAN ENDOCRINE SYSTEM
The endocrine glands and hormone
producing diffused tissues/cells located in
different parts of our body constitute the
endocrine system. Pituitary, pineal,
thyroid, adrenal, pancreas, parathyroid,
thymus and gonads (testis in males and
ovary in females) are the organised
endocrine bodies in our body
(Figure 19.1). In addition to these, some
other organs, e.g., gastrointestinal tract,
liver, kidney, heart also produce hormones.
A brief account of the structure and
functions of all major endocrine glands
and hypothalamus of the human body is
given in the following sections.
19.2.1 The Hypothalamus
As you know, the hypothalamus is the
basal part of diencephalon, forebrain
(Figure 19.1) and it regulates a wide
spectrum of body functions. It contains
several groups of neurosecretory cells
called nuclei which produce hormones.
These hormones regulate the synthesis
and secretion of pituitary hormones.
However, the hormones produced by
hypothalamus are of two types, the
releasing hormones (which stimulate secretion of pituitary hormones) and
the inhibiting hormones (which inhibit secretions of pituitary hormones).
For example a hypothalamic hormone called Gonadotrophin releasing
hormone (GnRH) stimulates the pituitary synthesis and release of
gonadotrophins. On the other hand, somatostatin from the hypothalamus
inhibits the release of growth hormone from the pituitary. These hormones
originating in the hypothalamic neurons, pass through axons and are
released from their nerve endings. These hormones reach the pituitary
gland through a portal circulatory system and regulate the functions of
the anterior pituitary. The posterior pituitary is under the direct neural
regulation of the hypothalamus (Figure 19.2).
Figure 19.1 Location of endocrine glands
Testis
(in male)
Ovary
(in female)
Adrenal
Pancreas
Thyroid and
Parathyroid
Thymus
Pineal
Pituitary
Hypothalamus
2024-25
241 241 CHEMICAL COORDINATION AND INTEGRATION
19.2.2 The Pituitary Gland
The pituitary gland is located in a bony cavity
called sella tursica and is attached to
hypothalamus by a stalk (Figure 19.2). It is
divided anatomically into an adenohypophysis
and a neurohypophysis. Adenohypophysis
consists of two portions, pars distalis and pars
intermedia. The pars distalis region of pituitary,
commonly called anterior pituitary, produces
growth hormone (GH), prolactin (PRL), thyroid
stimulating hormone (TSH),
adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH),
luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle
stimulating hormone (FSH). Pars intermedia
secretes only one hormone called melanocyte
stimulating hormone (MSH). However, in
humans, the pars intermedia is almost merged
with pars distalis. Neurohypophysis (pars
nervosa) also known as posterior pituitary, stores
and releases two hormones called oxytocin and
vasopressin, which are actually synthesised by
the hypothalamus and are transported axonally to neurohypophysis.
Over-secretion of GH stimulates abnormal growth of the body leading
to gigantism and low secretion of GH results in stunted growth resulting
in pituitary dwarfism. Excess secretion of growth hormone in adults
especially in middle age can result in severe disfigurement (especially of
the face) called Acromegaly, which may lead to serious complications,
and premature death if unchecked. The disease is hard to diagnose in
the early stages and often goes undetected for many years, until changes
in external features become noticeable. Prolactin regulates the growth of
the mammary glands and formation of milk in them. TSH stimulates the
synthesis and secretion of thyroid hormones from the thyroid gland. ACTH
stimulates the synthesis and secretion of steroid hormones called
glucocorticoids from the adrenal cortex. LH and FSH stimulate gonadal
activity and hence are called gonadotrophins. In males, LH stimulates
the synthesis and secretion of hormones called androgens from testis.
In males, FSH and androgens regulate spermatogenesis. In females, LH
induces ovulation of fully mature follicles (graafian follicles) and maintains
the corpus luteum, formed from the remnants of the graafian follicles
after ovulation. FSH stimulates growth and development of the ovarian
Posterior
pituitary
Anterior
pituitary
Hypothalamus
Hypothalamic
neurons
Portal circulation
Figure 19.2 Diagrammatic representation of
pituitary and its relationship with
hypothalamus
2024-25
Page 4


239 239 CHEMICAL COORDINATION AND INTEGRATION
You have alr eady lear nt that the neural system provides a
point-to-point rapid coordination among organs. The neural
coordination is fast but short-lived. As the nerve fibres do not innervate
all cells of the body and the cellular functions need to be continuously
regulated; a special kind of coordination and integration has to be
provided. This function is carried out by hormones. The neural system
and the endocrine system jointly coordinate and regulate the
physiological functions in the body.
19.1 ENDOCRINE GLANDS AND HORMONES
Endocrine glands lack ducts and are hence, called ductless glands. Their
secretions are called hormones. The classical definition of hormone as a
chemical produced by endocrine glands and released into the blood and
transported to a distantly located target organ has current scientific
definition as follows: Hormones are non-nutrient chemicals which
act as intercellular messengers and are produced in trace amounts.
The new definition covers a number of new molecules in addition to the
hormones secreted by the organised endocrine glands. Invertebrates
possess very simple endocrine systems with few hormones whereas a large
number of chemicals act as hormones and provide coordination in the
vertebrates. The human endocrine system is described here.
CHEMICAL COORDINATION
AND INTEGRATION
CHAPTER  19
19.1 Endocrine
Glands and
Hormones
19.2 Human
Endocrine
System
19.3 Hormones of
Heart, Kidney
and
Gastrointestinal
Tract
19.4 Mechanism of
Hormone Action
2024-25
BIOLOGY 240
19.2   HUMAN ENDOCRINE SYSTEM
The endocrine glands and hormone
producing diffused tissues/cells located in
different parts of our body constitute the
endocrine system. Pituitary, pineal,
thyroid, adrenal, pancreas, parathyroid,
thymus and gonads (testis in males and
ovary in females) are the organised
endocrine bodies in our body
(Figure 19.1). In addition to these, some
other organs, e.g., gastrointestinal tract,
liver, kidney, heart also produce hormones.
A brief account of the structure and
functions of all major endocrine glands
and hypothalamus of the human body is
given in the following sections.
19.2.1 The Hypothalamus
As you know, the hypothalamus is the
basal part of diencephalon, forebrain
(Figure 19.1) and it regulates a wide
spectrum of body functions. It contains
several groups of neurosecretory cells
called nuclei which produce hormones.
These hormones regulate the synthesis
and secretion of pituitary hormones.
However, the hormones produced by
hypothalamus are of two types, the
releasing hormones (which stimulate secretion of pituitary hormones) and
the inhibiting hormones (which inhibit secretions of pituitary hormones).
For example a hypothalamic hormone called Gonadotrophin releasing
hormone (GnRH) stimulates the pituitary synthesis and release of
gonadotrophins. On the other hand, somatostatin from the hypothalamus
inhibits the release of growth hormone from the pituitary. These hormones
originating in the hypothalamic neurons, pass through axons and are
released from their nerve endings. These hormones reach the pituitary
gland through a portal circulatory system and regulate the functions of
the anterior pituitary. The posterior pituitary is under the direct neural
regulation of the hypothalamus (Figure 19.2).
Figure 19.1 Location of endocrine glands
Testis
(in male)
Ovary
(in female)
Adrenal
Pancreas
Thyroid and
Parathyroid
Thymus
Pineal
Pituitary
Hypothalamus
2024-25
241 241 CHEMICAL COORDINATION AND INTEGRATION
19.2.2 The Pituitary Gland
The pituitary gland is located in a bony cavity
called sella tursica and is attached to
hypothalamus by a stalk (Figure 19.2). It is
divided anatomically into an adenohypophysis
and a neurohypophysis. Adenohypophysis
consists of two portions, pars distalis and pars
intermedia. The pars distalis region of pituitary,
commonly called anterior pituitary, produces
growth hormone (GH), prolactin (PRL), thyroid
stimulating hormone (TSH),
adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH),
luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle
stimulating hormone (FSH). Pars intermedia
secretes only one hormone called melanocyte
stimulating hormone (MSH). However, in
humans, the pars intermedia is almost merged
with pars distalis. Neurohypophysis (pars
nervosa) also known as posterior pituitary, stores
and releases two hormones called oxytocin and
vasopressin, which are actually synthesised by
the hypothalamus and are transported axonally to neurohypophysis.
Over-secretion of GH stimulates abnormal growth of the body leading
to gigantism and low secretion of GH results in stunted growth resulting
in pituitary dwarfism. Excess secretion of growth hormone in adults
especially in middle age can result in severe disfigurement (especially of
the face) called Acromegaly, which may lead to serious complications,
and premature death if unchecked. The disease is hard to diagnose in
the early stages and often goes undetected for many years, until changes
in external features become noticeable. Prolactin regulates the growth of
the mammary glands and formation of milk in them. TSH stimulates the
synthesis and secretion of thyroid hormones from the thyroid gland. ACTH
stimulates the synthesis and secretion of steroid hormones called
glucocorticoids from the adrenal cortex. LH and FSH stimulate gonadal
activity and hence are called gonadotrophins. In males, LH stimulates
the synthesis and secretion of hormones called androgens from testis.
In males, FSH and androgens regulate spermatogenesis. In females, LH
induces ovulation of fully mature follicles (graafian follicles) and maintains
the corpus luteum, formed from the remnants of the graafian follicles
after ovulation. FSH stimulates growth and development of the ovarian
Posterior
pituitary
Anterior
pituitary
Hypothalamus
Hypothalamic
neurons
Portal circulation
Figure 19.2 Diagrammatic representation of
pituitary and its relationship with
hypothalamus
2024-25
BIOLOGY 242
follicles in females. MSH acts on the melanocytes
(melanin containing cells) and regulates pigmentation
of the skin. Oxytocin acts on the smooth muscles of
our body and stimulates their contraction. In females,
it stimulates a vigorous contraction of uterus at the
time of child birth, and milk ejection from the mammary
gland. Vasopressin acts mainly at the kidney and
stimulates resorption of water and electrolytes by the
distal tubules and thereby reduces loss of water
through urine (diuresis). Hence, it is also called as anti-
diuretic hormone (ADH).
An impairment affecting synthesis or release of ADH
results in a diminished ability of the kidney to conserve
water leading to water loss and dehydration. This
condition is known as Diabetes Insipidus.
19.2.3 The Pineal Gland
The pineal gland is located on the dorsal side of
forebrain. Pineal secretes a hormone called melatonin.
Melatonin plays a very important role in the regulation
of a 24-hour (diurnal) rhythm of our body. For
example, it helps in maintaining the normal rhythms
of sleep-wake cycle, body temperature. In addition,
melatonin also influences metabolism, pigmentation,
the menstrual cycle as well as our defense capability.
19.2.4 Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland is composed of two lobes which are
located on either side of the trachea (Figure 19.3 a). Both
the lobes are interconnected with a thin flap of connective
tissue called isthmus. The thyroid gland is composed of
follicles and stromal tissues. Each thyroid follicle is
composed of follicular cells, enclosing a cavity. These
follicular cells synthesise two hormones,
tetraiodothyronine or thyroxine (T
4
) and
triiodothyronine (T
3
). Iodine is essential for the normal
rate of hormone synthesis in the thyroid. Deficiency of
iodine in our diet results in hypothyroidism and
enlargement of the thyroid gland, commonly called
goitre. Hypothyroidism during pregnancy causes
defective development and maturation of the growing
baby leading to stunted growth (cretinism), mental
Figure 19.3 Diagrammatic view of the
position of Thyroid and
Parathyroid
(a) Ventral side
(b) Dorsal side
2024-25
Page 5


239 239 CHEMICAL COORDINATION AND INTEGRATION
You have alr eady lear nt that the neural system provides a
point-to-point rapid coordination among organs. The neural
coordination is fast but short-lived. As the nerve fibres do not innervate
all cells of the body and the cellular functions need to be continuously
regulated; a special kind of coordination and integration has to be
provided. This function is carried out by hormones. The neural system
and the endocrine system jointly coordinate and regulate the
physiological functions in the body.
19.1 ENDOCRINE GLANDS AND HORMONES
Endocrine glands lack ducts and are hence, called ductless glands. Their
secretions are called hormones. The classical definition of hormone as a
chemical produced by endocrine glands and released into the blood and
transported to a distantly located target organ has current scientific
definition as follows: Hormones are non-nutrient chemicals which
act as intercellular messengers and are produced in trace amounts.
The new definition covers a number of new molecules in addition to the
hormones secreted by the organised endocrine glands. Invertebrates
possess very simple endocrine systems with few hormones whereas a large
number of chemicals act as hormones and provide coordination in the
vertebrates. The human endocrine system is described here.
CHEMICAL COORDINATION
AND INTEGRATION
CHAPTER  19
19.1 Endocrine
Glands and
Hormones
19.2 Human
Endocrine
System
19.3 Hormones of
Heart, Kidney
and
Gastrointestinal
Tract
19.4 Mechanism of
Hormone Action
2024-25
BIOLOGY 240
19.2   HUMAN ENDOCRINE SYSTEM
The endocrine glands and hormone
producing diffused tissues/cells located in
different parts of our body constitute the
endocrine system. Pituitary, pineal,
thyroid, adrenal, pancreas, parathyroid,
thymus and gonads (testis in males and
ovary in females) are the organised
endocrine bodies in our body
(Figure 19.1). In addition to these, some
other organs, e.g., gastrointestinal tract,
liver, kidney, heart also produce hormones.
A brief account of the structure and
functions of all major endocrine glands
and hypothalamus of the human body is
given in the following sections.
19.2.1 The Hypothalamus
As you know, the hypothalamus is the
basal part of diencephalon, forebrain
(Figure 19.1) and it regulates a wide
spectrum of body functions. It contains
several groups of neurosecretory cells
called nuclei which produce hormones.
These hormones regulate the synthesis
and secretion of pituitary hormones.
However, the hormones produced by
hypothalamus are of two types, the
releasing hormones (which stimulate secretion of pituitary hormones) and
the inhibiting hormones (which inhibit secretions of pituitary hormones).
For example a hypothalamic hormone called Gonadotrophin releasing
hormone (GnRH) stimulates the pituitary synthesis and release of
gonadotrophins. On the other hand, somatostatin from the hypothalamus
inhibits the release of growth hormone from the pituitary. These hormones
originating in the hypothalamic neurons, pass through axons and are
released from their nerve endings. These hormones reach the pituitary
gland through a portal circulatory system and regulate the functions of
the anterior pituitary. The posterior pituitary is under the direct neural
regulation of the hypothalamus (Figure 19.2).
Figure 19.1 Location of endocrine glands
Testis
(in male)
Ovary
(in female)
Adrenal
Pancreas
Thyroid and
Parathyroid
Thymus
Pineal
Pituitary
Hypothalamus
2024-25
241 241 CHEMICAL COORDINATION AND INTEGRATION
19.2.2 The Pituitary Gland
The pituitary gland is located in a bony cavity
called sella tursica and is attached to
hypothalamus by a stalk (Figure 19.2). It is
divided anatomically into an adenohypophysis
and a neurohypophysis. Adenohypophysis
consists of two portions, pars distalis and pars
intermedia. The pars distalis region of pituitary,
commonly called anterior pituitary, produces
growth hormone (GH), prolactin (PRL), thyroid
stimulating hormone (TSH),
adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH),
luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle
stimulating hormone (FSH). Pars intermedia
secretes only one hormone called melanocyte
stimulating hormone (MSH). However, in
humans, the pars intermedia is almost merged
with pars distalis. Neurohypophysis (pars
nervosa) also known as posterior pituitary, stores
and releases two hormones called oxytocin and
vasopressin, which are actually synthesised by
the hypothalamus and are transported axonally to neurohypophysis.
Over-secretion of GH stimulates abnormal growth of the body leading
to gigantism and low secretion of GH results in stunted growth resulting
in pituitary dwarfism. Excess secretion of growth hormone in adults
especially in middle age can result in severe disfigurement (especially of
the face) called Acromegaly, which may lead to serious complications,
and premature death if unchecked. The disease is hard to diagnose in
the early stages and often goes undetected for many years, until changes
in external features become noticeable. Prolactin regulates the growth of
the mammary glands and formation of milk in them. TSH stimulates the
synthesis and secretion of thyroid hormones from the thyroid gland. ACTH
stimulates the synthesis and secretion of steroid hormones called
glucocorticoids from the adrenal cortex. LH and FSH stimulate gonadal
activity and hence are called gonadotrophins. In males, LH stimulates
the synthesis and secretion of hormones called androgens from testis.
In males, FSH and androgens regulate spermatogenesis. In females, LH
induces ovulation of fully mature follicles (graafian follicles) and maintains
the corpus luteum, formed from the remnants of the graafian follicles
after ovulation. FSH stimulates growth and development of the ovarian
Posterior
pituitary
Anterior
pituitary
Hypothalamus
Hypothalamic
neurons
Portal circulation
Figure 19.2 Diagrammatic representation of
pituitary and its relationship with
hypothalamus
2024-25
BIOLOGY 242
follicles in females. MSH acts on the melanocytes
(melanin containing cells) and regulates pigmentation
of the skin. Oxytocin acts on the smooth muscles of
our body and stimulates their contraction. In females,
it stimulates a vigorous contraction of uterus at the
time of child birth, and milk ejection from the mammary
gland. Vasopressin acts mainly at the kidney and
stimulates resorption of water and electrolytes by the
distal tubules and thereby reduces loss of water
through urine (diuresis). Hence, it is also called as anti-
diuretic hormone (ADH).
An impairment affecting synthesis or release of ADH
results in a diminished ability of the kidney to conserve
water leading to water loss and dehydration. This
condition is known as Diabetes Insipidus.
19.2.3 The Pineal Gland
The pineal gland is located on the dorsal side of
forebrain. Pineal secretes a hormone called melatonin.
Melatonin plays a very important role in the regulation
of a 24-hour (diurnal) rhythm of our body. For
example, it helps in maintaining the normal rhythms
of sleep-wake cycle, body temperature. In addition,
melatonin also influences metabolism, pigmentation,
the menstrual cycle as well as our defense capability.
19.2.4 Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland is composed of two lobes which are
located on either side of the trachea (Figure 19.3 a). Both
the lobes are interconnected with a thin flap of connective
tissue called isthmus. The thyroid gland is composed of
follicles and stromal tissues. Each thyroid follicle is
composed of follicular cells, enclosing a cavity. These
follicular cells synthesise two hormones,
tetraiodothyronine or thyroxine (T
4
) and
triiodothyronine (T
3
). Iodine is essential for the normal
rate of hormone synthesis in the thyroid. Deficiency of
iodine in our diet results in hypothyroidism and
enlargement of the thyroid gland, commonly called
goitre. Hypothyroidism during pregnancy causes
defective development and maturation of the growing
baby leading to stunted growth (cretinism), mental
Figure 19.3 Diagrammatic view of the
position of Thyroid and
Parathyroid
(a) Ventral side
(b) Dorsal side
2024-25
243 243 CHEMICAL COORDINATION AND INTEGRATION
retardation, low intelligence quotient, abnormal skin, deaf-mutism, etc. In
adult women, hypothyroidism may cause menstrual cycle to become
irregular. Due to cancer of the thyroid gland or due to development of
nodules of the thyroid glands, the rate of synthesis and secretion of the
thyroid hormones is increased to abnormal high levels leading to a condition
called hyperthyroidism which adversely affects the body physiology.
Exopthalmic goitre is a form of hyperthyroidism, characterised by
enlargement of the thyroid gland, protrusion of the eyeballs, increased
basal metabolic rate, and weight loss, also called Graves’ disease.
Thyroid hormones play an important role in the regulation of the basal
metabolic rate. These hormones also support the process of red blood cell
formation. Thyroid hormones control the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins
and fats. Maintenance of water and electrolyte balance is also influenced by
thyroid hormones. Thyroid gland also secretes a protein hormone called
thyrocalcitonin (TCT) which regulates the blood calcium levels.
19.2.5 Parathyroid Gland
In humans, four parathyroid glands are present on the back side of the
thyroid gland, one pair each in the two lobes of the thyroid gland (Figure
19.3 b). The parathyroid glands secrete a peptide hormone called
parathyroid hormone (PTH). The secretion of PTH is regulated by the
circulating levels of calcium ions.
Parathyroid hormone (PTH) increases the Ca
2+
 levels in the blood. PTH
acts on bones and stimulates the process of bone resorption (dissolution/
demineralisation). PTH also stimulates reabsorption of Ca
2+
 by the renal
tubules and increases Ca
2+
 absorption from the digested food. It is, thus,
clear that PTH is a hypercalcemic hormone, i.e., it increases the blood
Ca
2+
 levels. Along with TCT, it plays a significant role in calcium balance
in the body.
19.2.6 Thymus
The thymus gland is a lobular structure located between lungs behind
sternum on the ventral side of aorta. The thymus plays a major role in
the development of the immune system. This gland secretes the peptide
hormones called thymosins. Thymosins play a major role in the
differentiation of T-lymphocytes, which provide cell-mediated
immunity. In addition, thymosins also promote production of antibodies
to provide humoral immunity. Thymus is degenerated in old individuals
resulting in a decreased production of thymosins. As a result, the immune
responses of old persons become weak.
2024-25
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FAQs on NCERT Textbook: Chemical Coordination & Integration - Biology Class 11 - NEET

1. What is chemical coordination and integration?
Ans. Chemical coordination and integration refers to the communication and regulation of various physiological processes in the human body through the release and response to chemical substances called hormones. These hormones are secreted by specialized glands and play a crucial role in maintaining homeostasis and coordinating the functions of different organs and systems.
2. What are the major endocrine glands in the human body?
Ans. The major endocrine glands in the human body include the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands, pancreas, ovaries (in females), and testes (in males). These glands secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream, which then travel to target organs or tissues to regulate their activities.
3. How does the hypothalamus control the release of hormones from the pituitary gland?
Ans. The hypothalamus plays a crucial role in controlling the release of hormones from the pituitary gland. It produces releasing hormones and inhibiting hormones that are transported via a special network of blood vessels called the hypothalamo-hypophyseal portal system to the anterior pituitary gland. These hormones stimulate or inhibit the release of specific hormones from the pituitary gland, thereby regulating various physiological processes.
4. What is the role of insulin in the regulation of blood glucose levels?
Ans. Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas. Its primary role is to regulate blood glucose levels by facilitating the uptake of glucose from the bloodstream into cells, especially liver, muscle, and adipose tissue cells. Insulin promotes the conversion of glucose into glycogen (glycogenesis) in the liver and muscle cells, lowering blood glucose levels. It also inhibits the breakdown of glycogen into glucose (glycogenolysis) and the production of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources (gluconeogenesis).
5. How does the adrenal gland help the body respond to stress?
Ans. The adrenal glands, located on top of the kidneys, help the body respond to stress by releasing hormones called adrenaline (epinephrine) and cortisol. Adrenaline increases heart rate, dilates blood vessels, and raises blood pressure, preparing the body for a fight-or-flight response. Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, increases blood sugar levels, suppresses the immune system, and aids in metabolism, providing the body with a burst of energy during stressful situations.
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