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Lesson Overview. 34.2 Glands of the Endocrine System. Pituitary Gland . Pituitary gland = bean-sized structure that dangles on a slender stalk of tissue at the base of the brain (off the hypothalamus )

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Lesson overview

Lesson Overview

34.2 Glands of the

Endocrine System

Pituitary gland
Pituitary Gland

  • Pituitary gland = bean-sized structure that dangles on a slender stalk of tissue at the base of the brain (off the hypothalamus)

  • Some of the hormones released by the pituitary control other glands, while others affect other types of tissues


  • Hypothalamus = controls the secretions of the pituitary gland and is the link between the central nervous system and the endocrine system

    • Hormones are made in the hypothalamus and stored in the pituitary gland

    • When the pituitary gland is stimulated, it releases the hormones into the blood

Adrenal glands
Adrenal Glands

  • The adrenal glands are pyramid-shaped structures that sit on top of the kidneys.

  • The adrenal glands release hormones that help the body deal with stress

    • The “fight or flight” response is produced when impulses from the sympathetic nervous system stimulate the adrenal glands to release large amounts of adrenaline


  • The pancreas has both exocrine and endocrine functions

  • As an exocrine gland, the pancreas releases enzymes that help digest food

  • As an endocrine gland, the pancreases releases insulin and glucagon help to keep the blood glucose (sugar) level stable

  • Insulin = decreases blood sugar [stores sugar inside other cells]

  • Glucagon = increases blood sugar [removes stored sugar from other cells]

Thyroid gland
Thyroid Gland

  • Thyroid gland = uses iodine to produce hormones that increase metabolism (causing cells to become more active, use more energy, and produce more heat)

  • Thyroid gland is located at the base of the neck and wraps around the upper part of the trachea

Parathyroid glands
Parathyroid Glands

  • Parathyroid hormone = increases calcium levels in the blood by:

  • promoting the release of calcium from bone

  • the reabsorption of calcium in the kidneys

  • the uptake of calcium from the digestive system.

Reproductive glands
Reproductive Glands

  • The gonads—ovaries and testes—are the body’s reproductive glands.

  • The gonads serve two functions: production of gametes and secretion of sex hormones.

  • Females = ovaries produce eggs and secrete hormones called estrogens

  • Males = testes produce sperm and secrete the hormone testosterone