Molecular Endocrinology Methods and Protocols

Author : Ok-Kyong Park-Sarge & Thomas E. Curry

Published in : Humana press

ISBN : 978-1-60327-378-7

File Type : pdf

File Size : 7 mb

Language : English


Endocrinology is classically defined as the study of the biosynthesis, storage, chemistry, and physiological function of hormones. The origins of this discipline can be traced as far back as 200 BC when the Chinese isolated sex and pituitary hormones from human urine and used them for medicinal purposes (Temple, Robert, The Genius of China). There were many early descriptions of substances (i.e., hormones) emanating from animal and human organs (Rolleston, 1937 Br Med J1(3984):1033–1036) however, the term ‘‘endocrine’’ and ‘‘endocrinology’’ did not appear in common usage until the mid- to late 1800s. In 1902, Bayliss and Starling first defined a hormone as a chemical that must be produced by an organ, released into the blood, and transported by the blood to a distant organ to exert its specific function. Since this early description of a hormone, our understanding of hormone action and the field of endocrinology has blossomed due to technological breakthroughs. Early work identified hormones such as insulin which led to the Noble Prize in Medicine for Drs.Banting, Best, and Macleod in 1923. In 1947, the mechanisms of hormonal feedback in regulating carbohydrate metabolism by extracts of theanterior pituitary led to the Nobel Prize for Dr. Bernardo Houssay. This work laid the foundation for the study of hormonal feedback control which is central to all aspects of modern endocrinology. In 1950, the Nobel Prize was shared by Drs. Hench, Kendall, and Reichstein for their work on the discovery of hormones from the adrenal cortex such as cortisone, their structure, and biological effects. Our understanding of hormone actions was further expanded by the work of Dr. Roger Guillemin and Dr. Andrew Schally for their elucidation of releasing factors such as thyroid releasing factor and gonadotropin releasing factor. These releasing factors were demonstrated to have neuroendocrine actions for which the scientists received the Nobel Prize in 1977. This same year they shared the Prize in Medicine with Dr. Rosalyn Yalow who, along with Dr. Soloman Berson, developed the radio immunoassay to measure insulin.
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