chapter  14
15 Pages

Molecular Defects in the Endocrine System

ByAntoni Horst

The main interdependencies of the endocrine system with other regulatory systems in a living organism can be summarized as follows: The synthesis and release of hormones from specifically differentiated organs is dependent on releasing factors secreted by the hypothalamus and the brainstem. The general principle of hormone action consists of their synthesis in specifically differentiated organs, transport through the blood-stream, and binding with specific receptors at the target-cells. The next step in hormone action is concerned with the transport of hormones through the blood stream. Receptors are indispensable links in the hormone action which, thanks to their high affinity to extract hormones from the blood stream, bind them and introduce the hormone-receptor complex into target cells—usually cells that possess adequate receptors. The important role of receptors in normal life processes, representing relatively large protein molecules, must result in a relatively high rate of mutations that may cause disturbances of vital functions, resulting in several disorders.