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This chapter should help the student to:

  • Describe the structure, function, and location of the islets of Langerhans; the pineal body; and the adrenal, thyroid, and parathyroid glands.
  • Describe the embryonic origin of the adrenal cortex, adrenal medulla, and thyroid and parathyroid glands.
  • Describe the nerve and blood supply to the adrenal glands, islets of Langerhans, thyroid gland, and pineal body.
  • Name the hormones produced by the adrenal cortex, adrenal medulla, islets of Langerhans, thyroid and parathyroid glands, and pineal body; for each hormone, identify the cell type responsible for its secretion, neural and endocrine regulating factors, and main targets and effects.
  • Identify the capsule, cortex, zona glomerulosa, zona fasciculata, zona reticularis, medulla, chromaffin cells, and ganglion cells in a micrograph of the adrenal gland.
  • Identify the islets of Langerhans in a micrograph of the pancreas.
  • Trace the steps in the synthesis, storage, and secretion of hormones by the thyroid's follicular cells.
  • Identify the follicles, follicular cells, basement membrane, colloid, capillaries, and parafollicular cells in a micrograph of the thyroid gland.
  • Identify the capsule, chief cells, and oxyphil cells in a micrograph of the parathyroid gland.
  • Identify pinealocytes, astroglial cells, and brain sand (corpora arenacea) in a micrograph of the pineal body.

1. Compare the adrenal cortex and medulla in terms of their embryonic origins (II.A.1 and B.1).

2. Trace the path taken by the blood supplying the adrenal capsule, cortex, and medulla (II.C.1–4).

3. Name the layers of the adrenal cortex, beginning with the layer closest to the capsule (II.A.2.a–c). Compare them in terms of the structure and arrangement of their secretory cells and the classes and examples of hormones secreted by each layer.

4. Compare glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, and adrenal androgens (II.A.3.a–c) in terms of sites of synthesis, target organs and effects, and factors that stimulate or inhibit their production.

5. Describe the fetal (provisional) cortex (II.A.5) in terms of:

  1. Size and location

  2. Number of layers

  3. Age when involution begins

  4. Function

6. Name the adrenal medulla's two major cell types (II.B.2.a and b).

7. Name the two major catecholamines secreted by the adrenal medulla (II.B.3).

8. Describe the factors leading to and the consequences of increased catecholamine secretion by the adrenal medulla (II.B.2.a, b, and 3).

9. Give the location of the islets of Langerhans (III).

10. Name four major hormone-secreting cells in the islets of Langerhans (III.A–D) and compare them in terms of their location (peripheral or central), abundance, and secretory granules and the hormones they produce. Compare the hormones produced in terms of the factors that stimulate their secretion, their targets, and their effects.

11. Describe the thyroid gland in terms of its location, number of lobes, and embryonic origin (IV) and the hormones it secretes (IV.A.2 and C).

12. Sketch a ...

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