Endocrine system (invertebrate)
Laufer, Hans Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut.
Fingerman, Milton Department of Biology, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana.
- Endocrine disruption
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The chemical integrating system in animals that lack a vertebral (spinal) column. An endocrine system consists of those glandular cells, tissues, and organs whose products (hormones) supplement the rapid, short-term coordinating functions of the nervous system. Some evidence, although not always direct, has been reported for hormones in a wide variety of invertebrates. Almost all of the information, however, pertains to the more highly evolved groups that will be discussed below—the annelids; mollusks; and most particularly two classes of arthropods, the insects and crustaceans. Several of the hormones in invertebrates are neurohormones, that is, they are produced by nerve cells. As is observed in the vertebrates, a wide variety of functions are regulated by hormones in the invertebrates. See also: Endocrine mechanisms; Endocrine system (vertebrate); Endocrinology; Hormone; Nervous system (invertebrate); Neurosecretion
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