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What can we find out about the suffix –crine? To
generate and separate a substance from cell or
bodily fluids, to generate or release by the
process of secretions. apocrine": adjective: (of
exocrine glands) producing a secretion in which
part of the secreting cell is released with the
secretion (Example: "Mother's milk is one
The endocrine system is made up of glands that produce and secrete
hormones, chemical substances produced in the body that regulate the activity of
cells or organs. These hormones regulate the body's growth, metabolism (the physical
and chemical processes of the body), and sexual development and function. The
hormones are released into the bloodstream and may affect one or several organs
throughout the body.
Hormones are chemical messengers created by the body. They transfer information
from one set of cells to another to coordinate the functions of different parts of the
The major glands of the endocrine system are the
hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenals, pineal body, and the
reproductive organs (ovaries and testes). The pancreas is also a part of this system; it
has a role in hormone production as well as in digestion.
The endocrine system is regulated by feedback in much the same way that a
thermostat regulates the temperature in a room. For the hormones that are regulated
by the pituitary gland, a signal is sent from the hypothalamus to the pituitary gland in
the form of a "releasing hormone," which stimulates the pituitary to secrete a
"stimulating hormone" into the circulation
. The stimulating hormone then signals the target gland to
secrete its hormone. As the level of this hormone rises in the
circulation, the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland shut down
secretion of the releasing hormone and the stimulating
hormone, which in turn slows the secretion by the target gland.
This system results in stable blood concentrations of the
hormones that are regulated by the pituitary gland
Exocrine glands are glands which produce secretions destined for the surface of an
organ, as opposed to endocrine glands, which secrete compounds into the
bloodstream. Some examples of exocrine glands include the mammary
glands, sweat glands, and saliva glands, and numerous exocrine glands can also be
found inside the body, facilitating processes such as digestion. Some glands are
both endocrine and exocrine in nature, secreting hormones into the bloodstream
along with compounds which reach the surface of the organ.
Some exocrine glands secrete directly, but more commonly, their secretions are
routed through ducts, which may be simple or compound. Simple ducts consist of a
single duct, while compound ducts branch out, providing more coverage. The ducts
can also twist and turn in a variety of ways which create a number of sub
classifications based on the shape of the duct. The shape of the ducts can be
discerned clearly with the use of magnification, and sometimes tracers or dyes can
be utilized to make the ducts more clear.
Some exocrine glands are classified as merocrine glands, in which intact cells
produce secretions. By contrast, holocrine glands produce compounds by allowing
their cells to break up to release the desired secretion, and apocrine glands
release their cells along with the secretion, with cells budding off and being
Suffix meaning blood or referring to the presence of a
substance in the blood. As for example, anemia (lack of
blood) and hypervolemia (too high a volume of blood).
The ending -emia is one of the building blocks derived
from Greek (in this case) or Latin used to construct
What is pernicious anemia?
Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have a sufficient
number of red blood cells or hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is present
within red blood cells and is important for carrying oxygen to all
tissues of the body. In males, anemia is typically defined as
hemoglobin level of less than 13.5 gram/100ml, while in women, a
hemoglobin level of less than 12.0 gram/100ml is considered to be
indicative of anemia. These definitions may vary slightly depending
on the source and the laboratory reference used. Pernicious is a term
that means destructive, injurious or deadly.
Pernicious anemia is a disease where large, immature, nucleated
cells (megaloblasts, which are forerunners of red blood cells)
circulate in the blood, and do not function as blood cells; it is a
disease caused by impaired uptake of vitamin B-12 due to the lack of
intrinsic factor (IF) in the gastric mucosa. It was termed "pernicious"
because before it was learned that vitamin B-12 could treat the
Anemia can result from disruptions in the production of red blood cells
or hemoglobin as well as from an increased destruction of red blood
cells or loss of blood.
Pernicious anemia is due to an inability to absorb vitamin B-12 (also
known as cobalamin or Cbl) from the gastrointestinal tract. Humans
get vitamin B-12 from animal products; both meat and dairy products
are dietary sources of vitamin B-12. The body is able to store vitamin
B-12 for a long time, so inadequate dietary intake must persist for
years before a true deficiency of vitamin B-12 is reached. Because of
this, the symptoms of pernicious anemia usually do not appear for
years. While pernicious anemia is most commonly diagnosed in adults
with an average age of 60, a rare, congenital (inborn) type of
pernicious anemia has been described.
As with other causes of anemia, symptoms related to decreased
oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood can include tiredness and
shortness of breath. Vitamin B-12 deficiency also interferes with the
What is sickle cell anemia?
Sickle cell anemia (sickle cell disease) is a disorder of the blood caused by
an inherited abnormal hemoglobin (an oxygen-carrying protein within the
red blood cells). The abnormal hemoglobin causes distorted (sickled) red
blood cells. The sickled red blood cells are fragile and prone to rupture.
When the number of red blood cells decreases from rupture
(hemolysis), anemia is the result. This condition is referred to as sickle cell
anemia. The irregular sickled cells can also block blood vessels causing
tissue and organ damage and pain. Sickle cell anemia is one of the most
common inherited blood anemias. The disease primarily affects Africans an
African Americans. It is estimated that in the United States, some 50,000
African Americans are afflicted with the most severe form of sickle cell
anemia. Overall, current estimates are that one in 1,875 U.S. African
American is affected with sickle cell anemia.
Sickle cell anemia is inherited as an autosomal (meaning that the
gene is not linked to a sex chromosome) recessive condition whereas
sickle cell trait is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. This
means that the gene can be passed on from a parent carrying it to
male and female children. In order for sickle cell anemia to occur, a
sickle cell gene must be inherited from both the mother and the
father, so that the child has two sickle cell genes.
The inheritance of just one sickle gene is called sickle cell trait or
the "carrier" state. Sickle cell trait does not cause sickle cell
anemia. Persons with sickle cell trait usually do not have many
symptoms of disease and have normal hospitalization rates and life
expectancies. Sickle cell trait is present in some two million blacks
in the United States (8% of the U.S. black population at birth). When
two carriers of sickle cell trait mate, their offspring have a one in
four chance of having sickle cell anemia. (In some parts of
"Pernicious Anemia Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention on MedicineNet.com."
MedicineNet. Trans. Robert Russell. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 July 2013.
"Sickle Cell Anemia (Sickle Cell Disease) Causes, Diagnosis, Symptoms, Treatments on MedicineNet.com."
MedicineNet. Trans. Robert Russell. MedicineNet, n.d. Web. 11 July 2013.
"What Are Exocrine Glands?" What Are Exocrine Glands? Trans. Robert Russell. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 July 2013.
"What Is the Endocrine System?" What Is the Endocrine System? Trans. Robert Russell. N.p., n.d.
Web. 11 July 2013. <http://www.hormone.org/hormones-and-health/what-is-the-endocrine-
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