For my project I decided that I wanted to take a closer look at hormones produced by the endocrine system. I went over objective 2 from the endocrine system which asks to categorize types of hormones. There are many types of hormones in the endocrine system and the ones I wanted to focus on are the hormones that are produced by the pituitary gland and a specific hormone, the melanocyte. The pituitary glands’ function includes handling metabolism, growth, sexual maturation, reproduction, blood pressure and more. The pituitary gland handles a lot of things and to help to achieve doing that, it uses hormones. Hormones are our bodies chemical receptors, and they travel through our bloodstream and communicate to our tissues and organs. A hormone in the Pituitary gland that I wanted to take a deeper look into is the melanocyte stimulating hormone. The melanocyte stimulating hormone or MSH is a hormone that helps preserve skin from ultraviolet rays and is a part of the development of pigmentation. Those are just a few things that MSH does but something that can be caused by the extensive amount of myelocyte destruction is vitiligo. Vitiligo is an autoimmune depigment disease that causes loss of skin color in patches. When it comes to people who have vitiligo, they do not have enough melanin, this is produced by melanocytes and gives pigment in skin. There is a limited number of melanocytes in someone who has vitiligo and thus they’re not producing a lot of melanin. 

For my project I decided I wanted to use clay in order to portray what my point was. I made a skin layer, and you can see how it looks normally for someone of color who has darker skin and has the normal amount of melanin on their body. On one side I have a skin layer block of someone who has vitiligo. The pink above the orange line is the endoderm layer on someone’s skin. There are also melanocytes on some sides of the block but if you notice on side of the block has melanocytes that release melanin and that is where the color is on top. On top is the outside where the skin color would be shown. If you notice on the other side, there are melanocytes but it’s not producing melanin because it’s dying and from the top view, we can see that is why the color does not show up on the skin. On the “normal skin” block we can see that there are melanocytes on the sides of the block that are releasing the purple dots which is the melanin and from the top view of the skin we can see that the skin is completely covered. To know that this happens because of hormones that out endocrine system is amazing because we can see how important it is. 

Literature Cited

Norman, A. W., & Henry, H. L. (2022). Hormones. Academic Press.

Chen J, Li S, Li C. Mechanisms of melanocyte death in vitiligo. Med Res Rev.        2021 Mar;41(2):1138-1166. doi: 10.1002/med.21754. Epub 2020 Nov 17. PMID: 33200838; PMCID: PMC7983894.

One Comment

  1. Jasmine did a wonderful job depicting melanocytes and how they are affected/originated by the endocrine system. Her writing was very accurate to the prompt that she chose (Endocrine Objective #2 Categorizing Types of Hormones) and her details regarding melanocytes were factual. Her work was easy to follow and her depictions of Normal Skin Layers versus Vitiligo Skin Layers made the topic very understandable. Upon reading her post, I have come to learn more about the Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone (MSH) which produces pigmentation of skin, helping it against UV rays. Before reading, I had never heard of the condition Vitiligo, so this was very interesting to me. I now know that Vitiligo can affect anyone. The pituitary gland is not producing enough of the Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone, thus there is a lower than normal amount of melanocytes in the skin. This can result in patches of discoloration, often becoming bigger over time. Jasmine’s clay depiction shows a skin cell that is dead due to no melanocyte and pigmentation protection. It also shows melanin producing pigmentation in incorrect areas of the skin (which contributes to the blotching we see on people with Vitiligo). In contrast, we see a healthy cell having full coverage of melanin (bottom right picture). Again, I think Jasmine did a great job with this project; I was glad to respond to her post and learn about the endocrine system, melanocytes, and Vitiligo.

    Konner Ayers

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