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Endocrine Terms

Endocrine terminology and definitions

TermDefinition
Aldosterone a potent mineralocorticoid secreted by the adrenal cortex that maintains extracellular fluid volume
antidiuretic hormone a hormone released from the posterior pituitary gland that regulates fluid volume by stimulating reabsorption of water in the renal tubules
calcitonin a hormone produced by the thyroid gland in response to high circulating calcium levels; acts to reduce the blood level of calcium and to inhibit bone resorption
catecholamine a sympathomimetic compound composed of a catechol molecule and an amine from the amino acid tyrosine; includes epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine; catecholamines secreted by the adrenal medulla are considered hormones; when released from nerve endi
corticosteroid any one of the glucocorticoid, mineralocorticoid, or androgen hormones secreted by the adrenal cortex
cortisol the most abundant and potent glucocorticoid
glucagon a hormone synthesized and released from pancreatic alpha cells in response to low levels of blood glucose, protein ingestion, and exercise
growth hormone an anterior pituitary hormone that affects the growth and development of skeletal muscles and long bones affecting a person's size and height
hormone a chemical substance synthesized by a specific organ or tissue and secreted directly into the blood, where it is circulated to specific target tissues
insulin an anabolic hormone secreted by the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas that is the principal regulator of the metabolism and storage of ingested carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
islets of Langerhans the hormone-secreting portion of the pancreas that includes alpha, beta, and delta cells
negative feedback a hormone-regulating mechanism in which there is a decrease or increase in hormone synthesis and secretion in response to a stimulus
parathyroid hormone hormone secreted by the parathyroid glands that regulates the blood level of calcium; acts to increase the blood level of calcium and to promote bone resorption
positive feedback a hormone regulating mechanism in which a high level of a substance stimulates hormone synthesis and secretion and a low level inhibits hormone synthesis and secretion
target tissue the body tissue or organ that the hormone affects
thyroxine (T4) the most abundant thyroid hormone; accounts for 90% of thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland
triiodothyronine (T3) the more active thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland; 10% is secreted from the thyroid gland and the remainder is obtained by peripheral conversion of T4
tropic hormone a hormone secreted by one gland that stimulates another gland to synthesize and secrete its hormones (i.e., thyrotropin from the anterior pituitary gland stimulates the thyroid gland to synthesize and secrete thyroid hormones)
Created by: ebadger