|About the Book|
The regulation of the organism has traditionally been ascribed to two distinct systems-the nervous and the endocrine. Though coordination between the two systems has been acknowledged, researchers and authors have tended to deal with them asMoreThe regulation of the organism has traditionally been ascribed to two distinct systems-the nervous and the endocrine. Though coordination between the two systems has been acknowledged, researchers and authors have tended to deal with them as comprising separate categories of cells involved in different activities. With this approach, a given regulatory mechanism would be evaluated as to whether it should be accounted for by nervous or endocrine functions. The past 15 years, however, have witnessed numerous important discoveries and conceptual developments concerning the morphological, physiological, and bio chemical relations between the nervous and endocrine systems. Advances in im munocytochemical studies have revealed that there are a wide variety of messenger substances that function in both regulatory systems. As a result, researchers have been stimulated to investigate neuronlike properties of endocrine cells and, con versely, endocrine or secretory features of neurons. It has thus become obvious that the rigidities in the classic criteria of neurotransmitters and hormones may rather impede further advances in these research fields. The activities of neurons are no longer evaluated simply in terms of EPSP, IPSP, and the release of classic trans mitters such as acetylcholine, noradrenaline, and GABA. Hormonal actions are no longer analyzed solely with regard to concentrations of classic aminic and peptidic hormones in the systemic blood circulation. The concept of the paraneuron, which we proposed in 1975, has become one of the theoretical bases for the development of this trend of study.