The neuroendocrine system
The neuroendocrine system is made up of special cells called neuroendocrine cells. They
are spread throughout the body. Neuroendocrine cells are like nerve cells (
What neuroendocrine cells do @(Model.HeadingTag)>
Neuroendocrine cells make and release hormones and similar substances (peptides) in
Neuroendocrine cells have many functions, which include controlling:
- the release of digestive enzymes to break down food
- how fast food moves through the GI tract
- air and blood flow through the lungs
- blood pressure and heart rate
- the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood
- bone and muscle growth and development
The following are examples of hormones or peptides released by neuroendocrine cells and what they do.
- Serotonin (5-HT or 5-hydroxytryptamine) is a chemical released by nerve cells (neurotransmitter) that helps with digestion. A lot of the body’s serotonin is found and made in the neuroendocrine cells of the GI tract where it controls the movement of food through the GI tract.
- Gastrin tells the stomach to release acid and enzymes to help with digestion.
- Insulin is made by pancreatic islet cells. It lowers the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood when it’s high. It controls when cells absorb (take up) sugar for energy.
- Epinephrine (adrenaline) is made by neuroendocrine cells of the adrenal gland. It is released during times of stress, like when you feel fear, and increases heart rate and blood pressure.
- Growth hormone is made in the pituitary gland. It promotes the growth and development of bones and muscles.
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