Forms of intracellular signalling: Endocrine
Endocrine signaling is a form of cell signaling that involves the release of hormones by endocrine glands into the bloodstream, where they travel to target cells in distant organs. In humans, endocrine signaling is involved in many physiological processes, including growth and development, metabolism, and reproduction. Some examples of endocrine signaling pathways in humans include:
- Insulin signaling: Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas and plays a critical role in regulating blood glucose levels. Insulin is released into the bloodstream in response to high blood glucose levels and acts on target cells in the liver, muscle, and adipose tissue to stimulate glucose uptake and storage.
- Thyroid hormone signaling: Thyroid hormones are produced by the thyroid gland and play a critical role in regulating metabolism and growth. Thyroid hormones are released into the bloodstream and act on target cells in many organs, including the brain, heart, and liver, to regulate metabolism and growth.
- Sex hormone signaling: Sex hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, are produced by the gonads and play a critical role in regulating reproductive function and secondary sex characteristics. Sex hormones are released into the bloodstream and act on target cells in many organs, including the reproductive system, brain, and bone, to regulate reproductive function and secondary sex characteristics.
- Growth hormone signaling: Growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland and plays a critical role in regulating growth and development. Growth hormone is released into the bloodstream and acts on target cells in many organs, including the liver, muscle, and bone, to stimulate growth and development.
Overall, endocrine signaling is a critical mechanism for regulating physiological processes and coordinating communication between distant organs in the human body. Dysregulation of endocrine signaling can contribute to the development of a wide range of diseases, including diabetes, thyroid disorders, and reproductive disorders. Understanding the mechanisms of endocrine signaling is an important area of research for developing new therapies for these diseases.