HORMONES: Gigantism, Acromegaly, and The Action of Adrenaline, Prostagladins, Endorphins and Pheromones. by loveforlove

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· @loveforlove ·
HORMONES: Gigantism, Acromegaly, and The Action of Adrenaline, Prostagladins, Endorphins and Pheromones.
<p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="" style="font-size: 1rem;">Robert
Wadlow, the tallest man who ever lived, had a condition called gigantism; he
probably had a tumour that produced large amounts of growth hormone. The growth
plates in his long bones didn’t fuse as they normally do in the late teens.</span><br></p><h2><span lang="">Acromegaly<o:p></o:p></span></h2><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">Robert grew to be a touch under 9 feet tall
(2.7 metres) and had size 36 feet (US sizes). Born in Alton, Illinois, USA,
Wadlow reached the height of over 7 feet at the age of 13 and continued to grow
throughout his short life of 22 years. He might have continued to grow, but he
died prematurely following an infected foot wound.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Robert_Wadlow_postcard.jpg" target="_blank" style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); font-size: 1rem;"><sup>Front of postcard of Robert Wadlow with his father.  http://media.liveauctiongroup.net/i/8635/9933517_2.jpg, Public Domain</sup></a></div><img src="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f7/Robert_Wadlow_postcard.jpg/315px-Robert_Wadlow_postcard.jpg" style="width: 315px; float: left;" class="note-float-left"><span lang=""><o:p><br></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang=""><o:p><br></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal">Robert Wadlow made it into the record books
as the tallest man who has ever lived. There might have been people who have
grown taller – stories exist of men over 9 feet tall but their existence,
unlike Wadlow’s, cannot be proved. Today, such extremes in size are rare
because conditions can be diagnosed early and treated effectively.<o:p></o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">But what happens if someone develops a tumour
that produces growth hormone later in life, after their growth plates have
closed over? Tumours of the pituitary gland that cause excess production of
growth hormone are rare, but they do happen. They cause a condition called <b>acromegaly</b>.
The name acromegaly comes from the Greek words for ‘extremities’ and ‘enlargement’
and reflects one of its most common symptoms, the abnormal growth of the hands
and feet. Soft-tissue swelling of the hands and feet is often an early feature,
with patients noticing a change in ring or shoe size. Gradually, bony changes
alter the patient’s facial features: the brow and lower jaw protrude, the nasal
bone enlarges and spacing of the teeth increases. So, growth still occurs, but
this does not lead to a change in height.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">The disease does cause problems and is fatal
if not treated. Overgrowth of bone and cartilage often leads to arthritis. When
tissue thickens, it may trap nerves, causing numbness and weakness of the
hands. Other symptoms of acromegaly include thick, coarse, oily, smelly skin;
skin tags; enlarged lips, nose and tongue; deepening of the voice due to
enlarged sinuses and vocal cords; snoring due to upper airway obstruction; excessive
sweating, fatigue and weakness; headaches; impaired vision; abnormalities of
the menstrual cycle and sometimes breast discharge in women; and impotence in
men. Body organs, including the liver, spleen, kidneys and heart, can also
enlarge. This is bad enough, but in the longer term, the most serious health
consequences are diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure and increased risk of
cardiovascular disease. Patients with acromegaly are also at increased risk for
polyps of the colon that can develop into cancer.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">Acromegaly is difficult to diagnose as the
changes it brings about happen very slowly and can be mistaken for changes that
result from the normal ageing process. However, once it is diagnosed, it can be
treated and people with acromegaly can avoid the changes in their facial
features that were common until about 35 years ago, when treatment became
available. The first treatment is surgery to remove the pituitary tumour – this
reduces the production of growth hormone significantly, but perhaps not down to
normal levels. The slight excess must then be ‘mopped up’ using drug treatment.
The main drugs in use are called <b>octreotide</b> and <b>lanreotide</b>. These
are analogues of the hormone somatostatin, which dampens down the production of
growth hormone by the pituitary. Early forms of the drug had to be injected
under the skin every 8 hours, but longer-acting preparations that last a month
are now available. After surgery, a patient is given the short-acting form to
judge which dose is most suitable for them, and then they move on to the once-a-month
injections, which need to continue for the rest of their life.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center; "><img src="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/10/Acromegaly_facial_features.JPEG" style="width: 527.5px;"><span lang=""><br></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center; "><a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Acromegaly_facial_features.JPEG" target="_blank"><sup>Facial features of a person with acromegaly. The cheekbones are pronounced, the forehead bulges, the jaw is enlarged, and facial lines are prominent. Philippe Chanson and Sylvie Salenave, CC BY 2.0</sup></a><span lang=""><br></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">Octreotide does have side-effects as it
affects the digestive system and pancreas. Use of the drug over a long time can
cause diarrhoea, nausea and excess gas. Some acromegaly patients who already
have diabetes have experienced a more welcome side-effect – octreotide can
reduce their need for insulin and improve blood sugar control. In some people,
surgery is less successful than in others, and they may retain more of their
original tumour. This treatment lowers growth hormone levels by about 50 per cent
over 2 to 5 years, but it also causes a gradual loss of production of other
pituitary hormones with time.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">No single treatment is effective for all
patients and all therapies have their side-effects, which need to be taken into
account. Acromegaly is rare and patients receive individual treatments tailored
exactly to their requirements, according to their age and tumour size. This is
generally successful and the patients can lead normal lives and attain a normal
life span.<o:p></o:p></span></p><h2><span lang="">THE HYPOTHALAMUS AND PITUITARY: PARTNERS IN COMMUNICATION AND
CONTROL<o:p></o:p></span></h2><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">The pituitary has been called the ‘master
gland’ because it controls the activity of most of the other endocrine glands,
but it is itself actually under the control of the hypothalamus. The range of
hormones produced by the pituitary and the way the hypothalamus controls
pituitary function are shown in the figure below.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">The human pituitary gland has a posterior lobe
and an anterior lobe. Anterior means ‘towards the front’ while posterior means
‘towards the back’. The pituitary stalk connects the posterior lobe to the brain.
This direct physical link allows nervous communication between the pituitary
and the hypothalamus. A rich network of blood vessels also links the
hypothalamus with the anterior lobe, allowing hormonal signals to pass from the
brain to the pituitary.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center; "><img src="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/96/Endocrine_central_nervous_en.svg/640px-Endocrine_central_nervous_en.svg.png" style="width: 527.5px;"><span lang=""><o:p><br></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center; "><a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Endocrine_central_nervous_en.svg" target="_blank"><sup>Endocrine glands in the human head and neck and their hormones. LadyofHats, Public Domain</sup></a><span lang=""><o:p><br></o:p></span></p><h3><span lang="">Neurosecretory cells and the posterior pituitary<o:p></o:p></span></h3><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">A neurosecretory cell is a modified neurone
that synthesises a hormone. The hormone is produced in the cell body and is
then transported down the axon and released into the blood through the synapse,
which terminates on a capillary. The neurosecretory cells that arise in the
hypothalamus and end in the posterior pituitary make two hormones:
anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) and oxytocin. When the hypothalamus is stimulated
by appropriate nerve impulses, it releases these hormones into the posterior
pituitary. From here they pass into the blood and then travel around the body.
ADH controls the reabsorption of water by the kidneys; oxytocin causes
contraction of the uterus during childbirth.<o:p></o:p></span></p><h3><span lang="">Hormonal control of the anterior pituitary<o:p></o:p></span></h3><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">Blood vessels that connect the hypothalamus
with the anterior pituitary carry hormones and chemical messengers. These
either stimulate or inhibit the release of pituitary hormones, including growth
hormone, prolactin, the gonadotrophins, adrenocorticotrophic hormone and
thyroid stimulating hormone.<o:p></o:p></span></p><h2><span lang="">NERVOUS AND HORMONAL CONTROL OF DIGESTIVE SECRETIONS<o:p></o:p></span></h2><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">The body uses a combination of nerve
communication and hormones to control the secretion of digestive juice to
coincide with the presence of food in particular areas of the gut. Below is a
brief summary of how this happens.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">The taste or smell of food encourages the
brain to signal the salivary glands and stomach to release saliva and stomach
secretions. Food leaving the stomach stimulates the vagus nerve, which then
triggers the release of bile and pancreatic juice. Digestive secretions can
also be controlled by hormones. The hormone gastrin, produced by the stomach wall,
travels in the bloodstream but exerts its effect locally, stimulating the production
of both pepsinogen and hydrochloric acid.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">Secretin and cholecystokinin control pancreatic
and liver secretions. Both are formed by cells in the duodenal wall. Secretin
causes the release of sodium hydrogencarbonate in the pancreas. In the liver,
it increases the rate of bile formation. Cholecystokinin triggers the release
of pancreatic enzymes such as lipase and trypsinogen.<o:p></o:p></span></p><h2><span lang="">THE ACTION OF ADRENALINE<o:p></o:p></span></h2><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">As the nervous system and the endocrine system
are closely linked, we should not be surprised that hormones can affect the way
that we feel emotionally. The classic example of this is the fear, fight or
flight response.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">At the molecular level, adrenaline binds to
the outside of a target cell and activates the enzyme adenyl cyclase. This
converts ATP to cyclic AMP. Cyclic AMP, is a second messenger which sets off a
cascade, a chain of reactions that convert glycogen to glucose. As adrenaline
binds to receptor molecules on the surface of a cell, changes in the membrane
cause the production of G proteins. For every one molecule of adrenaline that
binds, 10 molecules of G protein are produced. Each of those 10 molecules of G
protein catalyses the production of 10 molecules of adenyl cyclase. Each
molecule of adenyl cyclase stimulates the production of 10 molecules of cyclic
AMP. This amplification effect continues along a chain of reactions that
eventually breaks down glycogen into glucose.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center; "><img src="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/76/Epinephrine_ball-and-stick_model.png/640px-Epinephrine_ball-and-stick_model.png" style="width: 527.5px;"><span lang=""><o:p><br></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center; "><a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Epinephrine_ball-and-stick_model.png" target="_blank"><sup>Ball-and-stick model of epinephrine (adrenaline) molecule. Vaccinationist - PubChem, CC BY-SA 4.0</sup></a><span lang=""><o:p><br></o:p></span></p><h2><span lang="">PROSTAGLANDINS<o:p></o:p></span></h2><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">Prostaglandins are a group of hormone-like
compounds. They were originally thought to be produced by the prostate gland –
hence the term prostaglandins. They are not true hormones as they are not
produced by endocrine glands. Most mammalian cells synthesise prostaglandins,
which act locally on surrounding cells.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">Prostaglandins control cell metabolism,
probably by modifying levels of cyclic AMP inside the cell, and are involved in
a wide range of activities including blood clotting, inflammation and smooth
muscle activity. Prostaglandins are extremely powerful: one billionth of a gram
produces measurable effects.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">Prostaglandin pessaries can be used to set off
labour in a pregnant woman whose baby is overdue. However, semen is rich in
prostaglandins, and some experts recommend to expectant couples the natural
alternative of having frequent sex. Also, the prostaglandins in human semen
cause muscles of the uterus and oviduct to contract during female orgasm,
helping the sperm on their journey towards the ovum.<o:p></o:p></span></p><h2><span lang="">ENDORPHINS<o:p></o:p></span></h2><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">Endorphins are one of several morphine-like
chemical messengers produced in the brain (endorphin = endogenous morphine).
These polypeptide molecules mimic the effects of drugs such as morphine and
heroin: like prostaglandins, they are involved in a wide range of activities,
but their most important role seems to be in the management of pain. It is
thought that endorphins bind to pain receptors and so block the sensation of
pain. Long-distance runners who run until they collapse do so because
abnormally high levels of endorphin block out the acute pain and discomfort.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">Endorphins also seem to affect the ‘pleasure
centres’ of the brain. Stimulation of these areas provides the intense feelings
associated with orgasm. Scientists studying the chemistry of pleasure have
shown that pleasurable sensations begin when the hypothalamus releases
serotonin. This stimulates the release of endorphins, which turns on the supply
of dopamine and simultaneously turns off the supply of GABA (an amino acid that
suppresses dopamine). Dopamine stimulates the pleasure centre directly.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">Drugs such as heroin work by mimicking endorphins.
The brain of an addict stops making endorphins and so withdrawal from heroin
results in a sudden lack of endorphin and a build-up of GABA, producing
unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.<o:p></o:p></span></p><h2><span lang="">PHEROMONES AND BEHAVIOUR<o:p></o:p></span></h2><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang=""><img src="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/70/Nasinov_9024.JPG" style="width: 260px; float: left;" class="note-float-left"><br></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center; "><a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nasinov_9024.JPG" target="_blank"><sup>A fanning honeybee exposes Nasonov's gland (white – at tip of abdomen) releasing pheromone to entice swarm into an empty hive. Pollinator, CC BY-SA 3.0</sup></a><span lang=""><br></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">Pheromones, sometimes called ecto-hormones, are
substances that organisms release into the environment to communicate with members
of the same species. Pheromones are small, volatile molecules that spread
easily in the environment. They are active in very small amounts: the pheromone
of the female gypsy moth causes a response in the antennae of the male moth at
concentrations as low as one in a thousand million million molecules.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">Pheromones are usually classified according to
the type of response they produce:<o:p></o:p></span></p><ul><li><span lang="">Alarm pheromones are produced by bees and
ants when attacked. They excite other insects of the same species to swarm around
the attacker.</span></li><li>Sex attractants are released by moths, rats
and possibly humans to attract members of the opposite sex. Humans do not have
a particularly good sense of smell but there is some evidence that very young
babies can recognize their mother by her characteristic smell. Some people also
think that sexual partners can also recognize each other using their sense of
smell, but there is less evidence to back this up.</li><li>Trail substances are produced by ants to show
other ants where to find sources of food.</li><li>The queen substance is produced by the queen
bee within a hive to suppress the production of other queens.</li></ul><h2><span lang="">SUMMARY<o:p></o:p></span></h2><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="">After reading my previous chapter on HORMONES:&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; font-size: 11pt;">Insects and their hormone problems&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 1rem;">and this, you
should know and understand the following that:</span></p><ul><li><span lang="">There are three basic types of chemical
signal: local signals such as histamine, prostaglandins and endorphins;
hormones such as insulin and adrenaline; external signals or pheromones. The
human endocrine system has four main functions. It controls growth, sexual
development and fear, flight and fight reactions. It maintains body
homeostasis. Endocrine glands lack a duct: their secretions are delivered
directly into the bloodstream. Hormone levels are usually controlled by negative
feedback loops.</span></li><li>There are two basic types of hormone: peptide
hormones which are derived from amino acids (e.g. insulin) and steroid hormones
which are made from fatty acids (e.g. oestrogen). Peptide hormones bind to
receptors on the outer membrane of target cells and achieve their effect via a
second messenger such as cyclic AMP. Steroid hormones pass straight through the
cell membranes and bind to target receptors inside the cytoplasm.</li><li>There is a close link between the nervous and
endocrine systems, shown by the way in which, in the brain, the hypothalamus
interacts with the pituitary gland. Adrenaline, the hormone that causes the
classic fear, flight and fight response, acts at the molecular level to bring
about the production of millions of glucose molecules. Prostaglandins and
endorphins are local messengers which affect many different types of cell. Prostaglandins
are best known for their effects on the female reproductive system: endorphins
are chemicals that influence our perception of pleasure and pain.</li></ul><h3><span lang="">Thanks for reading.</span></h3><h2><span lang="">REFERENCES<o:p></o:p></span></h2><p class="MsoNormal"><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Wadlow" target="_blank">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Wadlow</a><br></p><p class="MsoNormal"><a href="https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/records/hall-of-fame/robert-wadlow-tallest-man-ever/" target="_blank">https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/records/hall-of-fame/robert-wadlow-tallest-man-ever/</a><br></p><p class="MsoNormal"><a href="https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/acromegaly" target="_blank">https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/acromegaly</a><span lang="">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><a href="https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/925446-overview" target="_blank">https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/925446-overview</a><span lang="">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acromegaly" target="_blank">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acromegaly</a><span lang="">&nbsp;</span></p><p>

</p><p class="MsoNormal"><a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acromegaly/symptoms-causes/syc-20351222" target="_blank">https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acromegaly/symptoms-causes/syc-20351222</a><span lang="">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothalamus" target="_blank">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothalamus</a><span lang=""><br></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><a href="https://www.brainfacts.org/brain-anatomy-and-function/cells-and-circuits/2012/hormones-communication-between-the-brain-and-the-body" target="_blank">https://www.brainfacts.org/brain-anatomy-and-function/cells-and-circuits/2012/hormones-communication-between-the-brain-and-the-body</a><span lang=""><br></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279126/" target="_blank">https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279126/</a><span lang=""><br></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posterior_pituitary" target="_blank">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posterior_pituitary</a><span lang=""><br></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><a href="https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-ap2/chapter/the-pituitary-gland-and-hypothalamus/" target="_blank">https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-ap2/chapter/the-pituitary-gland-and-hypothalamus/</a><span lang=""><br></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anterior_pituitary" target="_blank">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anterior_pituitary</a><span lang=""><br></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><a href="https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-ap2/chapter/the-pituitary-gland-and-hypothalamus/" target="_blank">https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-ap2/chapter/the-pituitary-gland-and-hypothalamus/</a><span lang=""><br></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><a href="https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-biology/chapter/digestive-system-regulation/" target="_blank">https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-biology/chapter/digestive-system-regulation/</a><span lang=""><br></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><a href="https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/1836-hormonal-control-of-digestion">https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/1836-hormonal-control-of-digestion</a><a href="https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/1836-hormonal-control-of-digestion" target="_blank"></a></p><p class="MsoNormal"><a href="https://opentextbc.ca/biology/chapter/15-4-digestive-system-regulation/" target="_blank">https://opentextbc.ca/biology/chapter/15-4-digestive-system-regulation/</a><br></p><p class="MsoNormal"><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemistry/adrenaline" target="_blank">https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemistry/adrenaline</a><br></p><p class="MsoNormal"><br></p>
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@valued-customer ·
As expected, great content that makes it relatively easy for laymen to understand complex biological systems.

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@loveforlove ·
Thanks for coming, @valued-customer. I'm glad you found my article easy to read and understand.
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@dra.karina ·
A very complete and easy to understand article thanks for sharing.
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@loveforlove ·
Thank you for the beautiful comment, @dra.karina.
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Hi, thanks for the post! I included a link to it in my daily [Science and technology digest](/@remlaps-lite/curating-the-internet-science-and-technology-digest-for-february-18-2020), and you'll get a 10% share of that post's rewards.
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created2020-02-18 20:10:06
last_update2020-02-18 20:10:06
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root_title"HORMONES: Gigantism, Acromegaly, and The Action of Adrenaline, Prostagladins, Endorphins and Pheromones."
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