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    The gland from which a number of hormones are released into the bloodstream. These hormones include growth hormone, ACTH, B-lipocortin (the precursor to B-endorphorin), FSH, LH, and TSH.


An organ that releases a chemical. Endocrine glands are ductless and secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream. Exocrine glands secrete externally, either through a tube or duct.

Biological compounds that communicate information at a distance. Hormones require specific receptors to begin their biological action and use second messengers to initiate the cellular process that uses that information.

A chemical substance formed in the body that is carried in the bloodstream to affect another part of the body; an example is thyroid hormone, produced by the thyroid gland in the neck, which affects growth, temperature regulation, metabolic rate, and other body functions.

Acth is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) legal in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): corticotropin.

A gonadotropic hormone found in the anterior pituitary gland (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR) of mammals. It stimulates ovarian granulosa cells and testicular Sertoli cells, induces maturation of Graafian follicles in the ovary, and promotes the development of the germinal cells in the testis.

Thyroid-stimulating hormone. A pituitary hormone that stimulates thyroid hormone production.


Pituitary gland
An endocrine gland situated deep in the brain in the midline behind the eyes, and directly associated with the hypothalamus. The hormones of the anterior pituitary regulate many functions of the other endocrine glands of the body. The pituitary is also known as the hypophysis.

Pituitary Gland
An endocrine gland in the small, bony cavity at the base of the brain. Often called "the master gland," the pituitary serves the body in many ways-in growth, in food use, and in reproduction.


Long chains of nucleotides formed by chemical links between the sugar and phosphate groups.

A nitrogen-containing, double-ring, basic compound that occurs in nucleic acids. The pyrimidines in DNA are cytosine and thymine; in RNA, cytosine and uracil.

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
PCR. A method for amplifying a DNA base sequence using a heat-stable polymerase and two 20-base primers, one complementary to the (+) strand at one end of the sequence to be amplified and one complementary to the (-) strand at the other end. Because the newly synthesized DNA strands can subsequently serve as additional templates for the same primer sequences, successive rounds of primer annealing, strand elongation, and dissociation produce rapid and highly specific amplification of the desired sequence. PCR also can be used to detect the existence of the defined sequence in a DNA sample.

Putative father
Males alleged or reputed to be biological fathers of illegitimate children.

The gland located within the brain that synthesizes melatonin.


A hormone produced in response to luteinizing hormone (LH) released from the pituitary gland. It is required to flush out the uterus if an egg is not fertilized. It is also useful for stimulating the growth of new bone mass.

Synthetic analogs of progesterone that have some of the properties of natural progesterone.

A light sensitive neuron. Photoreceptors interact with light which produces changes in their electrical properties which are communicated to other neurons. They constitute the first stage in the physiological process which underlies vision. The human retina, like the retina of most vertebrates, contains two broad classes of photo-receptors, rods and cones.

Paternity test
A test based on blood groups to determine whether a particular man could be the biological father of a particular child; negative results prove he was not the father but positive results show only that he could be.

The male sex organ, which consists of a head called glans, and the shaft or body. At the tip of the glans is the urethral opening, through which urine and semen leave the body. The shaft or the body of the penis is made of spongy tissue and blood vessels. And it fills with blood an grows in size (becomes erect) during sexual excitement.

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