4CCYB010 Introduction To Human Anatomy And Physiology

4CCYB010 Introduction To Human Anatomy And Physiology

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4CCYB010 Introduction To Human Anatomy And Physiology

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4CCYB010 Introduction To Human Anatomy And Physiology

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Course Code: 4CCYB010
University: Kings College London

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Country: United Kingdom


1. Identify with diagram & label the Endocrine system 
2. Explain the function of the major hormones of the endocrine system
3. What are the role of the blood in the distribution of hormones to target organ, the main hormones and list them with diagram finish it up by their role in transport
4. Discuss the medical use of synthetic hormones – Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)


The Endocrine System
The endocrine system has glands which secrete hormones that control metabolism, reproduction, sexual function, growth and development, sleep, mood and other physiological activities in the human body. The glands selectively remove materials from blood, process them and release a finished products in form of chemicals for the body (Sargais, 2018).The essay discusses the endocrine system, the functions of major hormones, the role of blood in transport of hormones and the use of hormone replacement therapy.
                                            Figure 1: The human endocrine system (Toro, 2013).
The glands are assisted by organs such as the liver, kidney, gonads and the heart.  The pituitary gland is an organ located in the lower part of the brain. The pineal gland and hypothalamus are situated directly above the brain stem and pituitary gland. The thyroid gland is found in the throat. The thymus gland is located in the upper front part of the chest which is directly between the lungs and behind the sternum. Furthermore, it has two thymic lobes that secrete thymosin hormone (Toro, 2013).
The pancreas is an organ located in the posterior half of the stomach. The islets in the pancreas secrete hormones such as insulin, glucagon, pancreatic polypeptide, and somatostatin. Adrenal glands are organs located on the top of the kidney. The adrenal cortex secretes the cortisol hormone and aldosterone. The inner part of the adrenal gland has the adrenal medulla that secretes adrenaline hormone (Zimmerman, 2018).
The testis is a pair of organs that produce sperms. They have a distinction of being an endocrine gland because they secrete the testosterone hormone. Pituitary glands and hypothalamus regulate the secretion of testosterone by the testis. Ovaries are oval-shaped organs located on either side of the uterus. They secrete hormones mainly estrogen and progesterone (Zimmerman, 2018).
The Functions of Significant Hormones of the Endocrine System
The hormones function together to regulate body functions. The hypothalamus secretes an Anti-diuretic hormone that increases the rate of absorption of water by kidneys. Furthermore, it emits the corticotrophin-releasing hormone that connects with the anterior pituitary gland to release corticosteroids by the adrenal glands. The hormone helps in the regulation of immune responses and metabolism (Kemp, 2018).
The hypothalamus secretes the gonadotropin-releasing hormone that rouses the release of follicle stimulating and Leutenizing hormone. The hormones ensure normal functioning of testes and ovaries. The hypothalamus also secretes the oxytocin hormone that is involved in various processes such as orgasm and temperature. (Kemp, 2018).
The posterior lobe in the pituitary gland produces an anti-diuretic hormone that forces the kidney to increase absorption of water in blood. The anterior lobe secretes an adrenocorticotropic hormone, which stimulates the production of other hormones by the adrenal glands. Furthermore, it emits the stimulating follicle hormone that collaborates with the luteinizing hormone to make sure male testes and female ovaries function normally (Sargais, 2018).
The thyroid gland secretes the calcitonin hormone that helps in the control of calcium levels in the body. The thymus secretes the thymosin hormone that stimulates the development of immune cells, i.e., T cells (Sargais, 2018).
 The ovaries secrete estrogen and progesterone, which work together to facilitate the healthy development of female sex features during puberty. Estrogen is essential in ensuring the development of fats and reproductive organs. The testes release progesterone hormone for sperm production, maintaining the muscle mass and maintenance of libido (Zimmerman, 2018).
The Role of Blood in the Distribution of Hormones to the Target Organ
Hormones are transported through the systemic circulation. However, some hormones transported through the portal systems which encourage direct targeting of hormones. Furthermore, they exist freely in them, and most of them are bound to transport proteins. Transport proteins are proteins that bind with hormones in the systemic circulation, and they facilitate the efficient transportation of hormones (Prospec Protein Specialists, 2018).
Transport proteins that are produced by liver cells have the following functions. They make hormones which are temporarily soluble in water; therefore, increasing the solubility of such hormones in the blood. Next, they provide a hormone reserve which is already available in the bloodstream (John, 2017).
Also, they inactively hold hormones in the systemic circulation and create a reservoir that facilitates the even distribution of hormones in tissues and organs. Some secrete into a portal system instead of the systemic circulation. For instance, pancreatic hormones move into the hepatic portal vein that transports them into the liver (Molnar & Gair, 2017).
Few hormones are transported while dissolved in blood. However, most of the hormones are moved in the bloodstream while attached to plasma proteins. For instance, steroids are transported while bound to plasma proteins. Water soluble hormones are carried in the blood plasma in a free state. The thyroid stimulating hormone affects the thyroid. Insulin that is secreted by the pancreas affects the metabolisms of proteins fats and glucose in the body (Molnar & Gair, 2017).
Figure 2: Diagram showing the role of blood in transport of glucocorticoids in the hypothalamus and pituitary glands (Molnar & Gair, 2017).
The transport of Thyroid Hormone in blood
Almost a hundred percent of the thyroid hormone that circulates in blood is bound to plasma proteins which transport them into cells. However, they can be released rapidly into cells. Thyroid hormone binding proteins have lipoproteins, thyroxine-binding globulin and  transthyretin, which ensure a constant supply of thyroid hormone in tissues and cells to prevent loss through urine and degradation (Molnar & Gair, 2017).
The Medical Use of Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy is treatment taken to replace hormones that decline during menopause. Furthermore, it relieves menopause symptoms such as vaginal dryness, osteoporosis, thinning hair, urinary problems, hot flashes, sleep problems, moodiness, irregular periods, lower fertility, small breasts, and memory difficulties. The symptoms are unpleasant to women (Rettner, 2014).
HRT has a combination of estrogen and progesterone. The estrogen and progesterone hormones are essential hormones in the female’s reproductive system. Progesterone prepares the womb for implantation of the egg while estrogen stimulates egg release during ovulation. Many women experience hormonal changes in their late forties. Therefore, HRT offers solutions to these problems (Rettner, 2014).
A woman with a uterus should take a combination of estrogen and progesterone because taking estrogen alone is linked to an increase in the risk of contracting endometrial cancer. A woman without a uterus due to hysterectomy can use estrogen. Vaginal estrogen is administered in the form of a cream, ring or a pessary; it reduces vaginal dryness. Estrogen hormone is used to prevent bone loss. Moreover, the hormone can be used to relieve symptoms of prostate and breast cancer (NHS, 2017).
Hormone replacement treatment can function as male hormonal therapy and treatment of people who undergo a sex change. However, the treatment has serious health risks such as an increase in the risk of breast cancer. Therefore, women are advised to talk to their doctors about the suitability of these therapies (NHS, 2017).
John, E. M. (2017) Endocrine Function. MSD Manual [Online] Available from: https://www.msdmanuals.com/home/hormonal-and-metabolic-disorders/biology-of-the-endocrine-system/endocrine-function [Accessed 10 December 2018].
Kemp, S. (2018) Anatomy of the endocrine system. emedicine health [Online] Available from https://www.emedicinehealth.com/anatomy_of_the_endocrine_system/article_em.htm#thyroid_gland [Accessed 10 December 2018].
Molnar, C. & Gair, J. (2017) Components of the blood.[Online] Available from https://opentextbc.ca/biology/chapter/21-2-components-of-the-blood/ [Accessed 10 December 2018].
NHS. (2017) Side Effects, Hormone Replacement Therapy. [Online] Available from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hormone-replacement-therapy-hrt/side-effects/[Accessed 10 December 2018].
Prospec Protein Specialists. (2018) Hormones. [Online] Available from https://www.prospecbio.com/hormones [Accessed 10 December 2018].
Rettner, R. (2014) Hormone Replacement Therapy: Types, Benefits & Risks. Live Science. [Online] Available from https:// https://www.livescience.com/44259-hormone-replacement-therapy-risks-benefits.html [Accessed 10 December 2018].
Sargais, R. (2018) About the Endocrine System, Endocrine Glands and Hormones.[Online] Available from https:// www.endocrineweb.com/endocrinology/about-endocrine-system [Accessed 10 December 2018].
Toro, R. (2013) Diagram of the Human Endocrine System (Infographic). Live science. [Online] Available from https://www.livescience.com/38679-human-body-system-endocrine-infographic.html [Accessed 10 December 2018].
Zimmerman, K. (2018) Endocrine System: Facts, Functions, and Diseases. [Online] Available from https://www.livescience.com/26496-endocrine-system.html [Accessed 10 December 2018].

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