The Endocrine System


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My AP Biology Thoughts

Unit 4 Cell Communication and Cell Cycle

Welcome to My AP Biology Thoughts podcast, my name is Arthur Kim and I am your host for episode #84 called Unit 4 Cell Communication and Cell Cycle: The Endocrine System. Today we will be discussing the role of the endocrine system in cellular signaling and communication.

Segment 1: Introduction to The Endocrine System

  • The endocrine system is the means by which cell signals released by internal glands travel towards their destinations.
  • Endocrine signaling is how cell signals are transmitted across long-distances. A gland releases a signal into a circulatory system, usually the bloodstream, where it is carried about until it is picked up by the appropriate receptor.

Segment 2: More About The Endocrine System

  • As the body is relatively large, it is essential for signals to be able to be transmitted across large distances.
  • The pituitary gland, the so-called “master gland,” is located just slightly below the brain -- however it is responsible for regulating functions across the entire body.
  • Example -- When sodium levels in the bloodstream rise, the pituitary gland sends antidiuretic hormones into the bloodstream where they are eventually circulated to the kidneys, which respond by releasing water into the bloodstream.
  • The pituitary gland also uses the endocrine system to circulate hormones to other glands in order for them to release hormones when needed.
  • It directs the thyroid gland, located in the neck, in order to control metabolism.
  • It also directs the adrenal glands, located in the kidneys, which produce numerous hormones like adrenaline, aldosterone and cortisol.

Segment 3: Connection to the Course

  • As cell signaling across long distances is central to our functions, the endocrine system is essential in allowing for us to exist the way we do. The ability for cells to communicate across long distances has allowed for life to grow and become more complex.

Thank you for listening to this episode of My AP Biology Thoughts. For more student-ran podcasts and digital content, make sure that you visit

Music Credits:

  • "Ice Flow" Kevin MacLeod (
  • Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

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