Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Brian Cohen




follicle, hormone, endocrine system, signals, DNA


The endocrine system is essential to the management of homeostasis (source 1). The endocrine system is such an integral part of human survival and homeostasis because it involves almost every cell, tissue, and organ within the body. The endocrine system functions by the secretion of chemical signals, referred to as hormones, by a collection of cells called glands. These hormones are passed through the blood stream to reach their target, which possesses a receptor specific to a given hormone. These endocrine glands are not to be confused with exocrine glands, which secretes chemical signals through a gland’s duct opening to an epidermal surface instead of the bloodstream. Hormones of the endocrine system can be broken down into two general classes. First, there are the peptide hormones, which are chains of various amino acids and they interact with their target cell through a receptor on the outer membrane of responsive cells. Following the binding to an extracellular receptor, a cascade is initiated to generate a second messenger, inducing a response in the target cell. The other class of hormones is the steroid hormones, which are synthesized from cholesterol precursors. Unlike peptide hormones, steroid hormones are lipid soluble and pass through the extracellular membrane and bind to a specific receptor protein in the cytoplasm or the nucleus. This receptor–hormone complex then binds to the cell’s DNA. This binding of the receptor protein to the DNA can either increase or decrease the transcription of specific mRNA.

Included in

Biology Commons