Hormones are major systemic regulators of homeostatic functions. Not surprisingly, most endocrine signals show some extent of variation across the day. This holds true for the three major hormonal axes of the body originating from the hypothalamus, relayed by the pituitary and terminating in the adrenal (HPA axis), the thyroid (HPT axis), and the gonads (HPG axis), respectively. The rhythmicity of endocrine axis formation has important functions for the maintenance of homeostasis and stabilizes physiological functions against external perturbations. In some cases, such as cortisol, hormonal signals are themselves implicated in circadian regulation and, thus, endocrine disruption may affect the function of the circadian clock network to alter further downstream processes.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)