Who Discovered Hormones?

Very early on, scientists had a vague notion that there were certain messenger substances in the body that served as information transmitters for the organs. However, it was a long way to the discovery of hormones. In 1902, the two English physiologists Ernest Henry Starling and William Maddock Bayliss made an important step in hormone research. They were able to show that the  pancreas  still functioned after all the nerves leading to it were severed.
The reason: it secretes digestive substances as soon as the stomach contents enter the intestine. In this way, the two scientists discovered a humoral messenger substance that they called secretin.

Discovery of other hormones

In 1905, Starling proposed the name “hormone” ( hormao (Greek) = I drive ) to describe all substances that enter the blood through special glands and stimulate other organs to become active. The discovery of other hormones, including gastrin in 1905,  insulin in 1921  and somatostatin in 1972, showed that the English had made a real breakthrough in hormone research.

The first hormone to be isolated and its structure determined was  adrenaline . As early as 1901, the Japanese-American chemist Jokichi Takamine (1854 – 1922) was able to extract it from the adrenal gland. A short time later, this substance was recognized as a hormone based on the findings of Starling and Bayliss.

What are hormones?

Nothing works in the human body without hormones, because hormones transmit important information so that cells and organs can function properly. Hormones are therefore endogenous substances that achieve a precisely coordinated effect in minimal concentrations. They are found in certain glandular cells of different organs such as e.g. B. the pancreas produces. From where they are formed, they are released into the bloodstream and reach certain effective organs through the bloodstream, where they develop their specific effect.
Hormones or hormone-like substances that are not formed in special glands but directly in the tissue are called tissue hormones.

Which “endocrine glands” produce hormones?

  • Hypothalamus,  Pituitary gland
  • Gonaden
  • Kidneys
  • thyroid
  • Leber
  • parathyroid
  • Magendarmtrakt
  • adrenal cortex, adrenal medulla
  • adipose tissue
  • pancreas
  • etc.

Key-lock principle

In order to be able to develop their effect in the cells of the target organs, they have to bind to hormone receptors, which are special structures on the surface or inside the cell. The receptor and the hormone fit together like a key and a lock, which is why this recognition system is also called the key-lock principle. Once the hormone has unlocked the receptor lock with its key, it triggers the metabolic processes in the cell, e.g. B. a chemical reaction within the cell.

 

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