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October, 2006
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Pituitary Gland: A small, unpaired gland situated in the Sella turcica. It is connected to the Hypothalamus by a short stalk.

Hypothalamic-Pituitary Axis

JoVE 10879

The response to stress—be it physical or psychological, acute or chronic—involves activation of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis. The HPA axis is part of the neuroendocrine system because it involves both neuronal and hormonal communication. Its function is to regulate homeostatic systems—metabolic, cardiovascular, and immune—providing the necessary means to respond to a stressor. In response to stress, the neurons in the hypothalamus release corticotropin-releasing hormone, or CRH, into the bloodstream. CRH takes a short journey to the pituitary gland where it stimulates the release of adrenocorticotropic hormone, or ACTH. The site of action for ACTH are the adrenal glands which lay just on the surface of the kidneys. When stimulated, the adrenal glands release two types of stress messages. Neural stimulation initiates the first message—the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine from the adrenal medulla. This activates the sympathetic nervous system resulting in elevated heart rate, blood flow, and respiration—processes designed to activate states of alertness and arousal. These two chemicals are also referred to as adrenaline and noradrenaline, respectively. ACTH initiates the second message—the release of glucocorticoids by the adrenal cortex. In humans, cortisol is the primary hormone

 Core: Biology

Two-dimensional Gel Electrophoresis Coupled with Mass Spectrometry Methods for an Analysis of Human Pituitary Adenoma Tissue Proteome

1Key Laboratory of Cancer Proteomics of Chinese Ministry of Health, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, 2Hunan Engineering Laboratory for Structural Biology and Drug Design, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, 3State Local Joint Engineering Laboratory for Anticancer Drugs, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, 4The State Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics, Central South University

JoVE 56739

 Cancer Research

Thyroid Exam

JoVE 10098

Source: Richard Glickman-Simon, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, MA

The thyroid gland is located in the neck anterior trachea between the cricoid cartilage (above) and the suprasternal notch (below) (Figure 1). It consists of a right and left…

 Physical Examinations II

What is the Endocrine System?

JoVE 10875

The endocrine system sends hormones—chemical signals—through the bloodstream to target cells—the cells the hormones selectively affect. These signals are produced in endocrine cells, secreted into the extracellular fluid, and then diffuse into the blood. Eventually, they diffuse out of the blood and bind to target cells which have specialized receptors to recognize the hormones. While most hormones travel through the circulatory system to reach their target cells, there are also alternate routes to bring hormones to target cells. Paracrine signaling sends hormones out of the endocrine cell and into the extracellular fluid where they affect local cells. In a form of paracrine signaling, called autocrine signaling, hormones secreted into the extracellular fluid affect the cell that secreted them. Another type of signaling, synaptic signaling, involves the release of neurotransmitters from neuron terminals into the synapse—a specialized junction that relays information between neurons—where they bind to receptors on neighboring neurons, muscle cells, and glands. In neuroendocrine signaling, neurosecretory cells secrete neurohormones that travel through the blood to affect target cells. Overall, endocrine signaling has a slower effect than other types of signaling because it takes longer for hormones to reach the target cel

 Core: Biology

Modeling Social Stress

JoVE 5429

Stress negatively affects our quality of life. In particular, some individuals experience social stress when placed in a social environment that they are unfamiliar with or have difficulty adjusting to. Since it is hard to examine mechanisms of social stress in humans, modeling this condition in animals may help scientist in developing new therapies for treating this commonly encountered…

 Behavioral Science

Endocrine Signaling

JoVE 10719

Endocrine cells produce hormones to communicate with remote target cells found in other organs. The hormone reaches these distant areas using the circulatory system. This exposes the whole organism to the hormone but only those cells expressing hormone receptors or target cells are affected. Thus, endocrine signaling induces slow responses from its target cells but these effects also last longer. There are two types of endocrine receptors: cell surface receptors and intracellular receptors. Cell surface receptors work similarly to other membrane bound receptors. Hormones, the ligand, bind to a hormone specific G-protein coupled receptor. This initiates conformational changes in the receptor, releasing a subunit of the G-protein. The protein activates second messengers which internalize the message by triggering signaling cascades and transcription factors. Many hormones work through cell surface receptors, including epinephrine, norepinephrine, insulin, prostaglandins, prolactin, and growth hormones. Steroid hormones, like testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone, transmit signals using intracellular receptors. These hormones are small hydrophobic molecules so they move directly past the outer cell membrane. Once inside, and if that cell is a target cell, the hormone binds to its receptor. Binding creates a conformational change in the receptor

 Core: Biology

How to Study Basement Membrane Stiffness as a Biophysical Trigger in Prostate Cancer and Other Age-related Pathologies or Metabolic Diseases

1Departamento de Genética, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de la República (UDELAR), 2Department of Mechanistic Cell Biology, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology, 3School of Biological, Biomedical & Environmental Sciences, University of Hull

JoVE 54230

 Cancer Research
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