Humors, Hormones, and Neurosecretions

Edited by Chandler McC. Brooks

Hardcover : 9780873950060, 313 pages, June 1962

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Table of contents


Section I. Introduction

1. The Concept of Humoral Control of Body Function and Its Significiance to the Development of Physiology
C. McC. Brooks

Section II. The Development of Endocrinology

2. The Beginnings of Endocrinology and the Discovery of Digestive System Hormones
C. McC. Brooks

3. Hormones and the Metabolic Processes of the Body
The Pancreas, Adrenals, Thyroid, Parathyroids, Thymus, and Pineal
J. L. Gilbert

4. Trophic Hormones and Interactions Within the Endocrine System
The Hypophysis and the Gonads
H. A. Levey

Section III. Chemical Transmission of Neuronal Activity

5. Chemical Mediation of the Neural Control of Peripheral Organs and the Humoral Transmission of Mediators
C. McC. Brooks

6. Central Action of Transmitters and the Question of Chemical Transmission at the Central Synapse
D. R. Curtis

Section IV. The Central Nervous System and Humoral Control of Body Function

7. Central Nervous System Control of Endocrine and Other Secretory Processes by Peripheral Nerves
C. McC. Brooks

8. Hypothalamic and Central Nervous System Control of the Endocrine Glands
C. McC. Brooks

C. McC. Brooks



The concept of humoral control—the direction of bodily processes by complex organic fluids—has gained ascendancy in recent decades, and enlisted the interest of more than humoral specialists. The present summary of current humoral research accordingly pays particular attention to its bearing on physiological theory, and its contribution to our general knowledge of the integrative forces which maintain the unity of the individual.

The ancient theory of the four hundred, which dominated medicine from the time of Hippocrates to the beginning of the seventeenth century, contained in rudimentary form the notion that chemical agents transported in the blood controlled biological and emotional states. This notion was apparently discredited forever in the eighteenth century when it was supplanted by the galvanic theory that control was exercised through electrically transmitted neural impulses. Near the beginning of the present century, however, experimental evidence in turn discredited the electrical theory, and laid the groundwork for the modern humoral concepts discussed in these pages.

Specifically covered are the development of endocrinology, the discovery of digestive hormones, hormonal regulation of metabolism, the action of trophic hormones, interactions within the endocrine system, chemical transmission of neuronal impulses in the central and peripheral nervous systems, and the control exercised by the central nervous system, particularly the hypothalamus, over endocrine and other secretory processes.

Chandler McC. Brooks, Ph. D. is Professor and Chairman, Department of Physiology, and Director of the Graduate Educational Program, Downstate Medical Center, State University of New York.