Endocrine System

Other Endocrine Tissues and Hormones

In terms of name recognition, the pituitary, thyroid and the adrenal glands get a lion's share of the glory. These organs have no significant function other than to produce hormones, and were relatively easy to study years ago using "remove it and see what happens" type of experiments. There are however a number of other endocrine tissues and hormones that, while less well known, are just as important in controlling vital bodily functions. In fact, there is probably no tissue that is not, in some way, an endocrine tissue.

Several of the "other" endocrine cells and tissues discussed here are sometimes referred to as the diffuse endocrine system to reflect that concept that many organs house clusters of cells that secrete hormones. The kidney, for example, contains scattered cells that secrete erythropoietin, a hormone essential for production of red blood cells. Even the heart contains cells that produce atrial naturetic hormone, which is important in sodium and water balance.

Core information on other hormones and endocrine tissues are presented as the following topics:

Send comments to Richard.Bowen@colostate.edu