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Homeostasis and the Body Systems

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Since all tissues and organs contribute to maintain homeostasis, all organ systems are directly or indirectly playing a role.

Nervous system

Working as the body’s primary control center, this control the activities of almost every other organ in the body.

  • Autonomous nervous system stimulates/inhibits secretions from the hypothalamus
  • It controls contractions of skeletal and erector pilli muscles {temperature regulation}
  • It regulates functions of respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, digestive and urinary systems, all of which are important homeostatic processes
  • Control sexual behavior and functions

Endocrine system

Under stimulation from the hypothalamus, the pituitary secretes numerous hormones that maintain metabolism and development of the body

  • Sex hormones control sebaceous glands {skin protection}, alter blood flow in the skin {temperature regulation} and control release of lipids from adipocytes {energy homeostasis}
  • Numerous hormones control growth and metabolism of bones {RBC production, mineral storage} and muscles {temperature regulation}
  • Reproductive hormones influence development of CNS and maintain electrolyte balance around nerve fibres
  • Metabolic hormones control activities of the cardiovascular system {blood pressure regulation}
  • Causes anti-inflammatory effects by acting on the lymphatic system

Integumentary system

This consists of the skin and it’s various appendages that provide a boundary between the body’s internal environment and the outside world.

  • Thick, impenetrable layer provides protection from invading microbes
  • Hair on surface prevents microbes from entering through nasal canals and other orifices
  • Exhibits sweating, vasodilation and piloerection {temperature regulation}
  • Controls blood flow and capillary permeability by stimulating mast cells {blood pressure and volume}
  • Involves in synthesis of Vitamin D {mineral storage}
  • Presence of keratinized outer layer and sweat glands maintains excretion of water and solutes

Respiratory system

  • Provides oxygen for cells to metabolize
  • Maintaining amount of CO2 in the blood {blood pH regulation}
  • Helps lymphatic system by trapping microbes
  • Applies abdominal pressure by muscle contractions

Digestive system

Without a regular supply of nutrients and energy, all other organs in the body will suffer. The digestive systems provides a regular supply of these by three steps, all of which are crucial

  1. Digestion of food
  2. Absorption of simple molecules
  • Elimination of feaces

Immune system

Keeps the body’s health in a functioning range by either neutralizing or destroying invaders. This is done by

  • Phagocytosis
  • Sensitized lymphocytes
  • Specialized proteins


Urinary system

  • Removes toxic nitrogenous wastes and nucleic acids
  • Maintains amount of water eliminated from the body {blood volume regulation, and indirectly maintains blood pressure}
  • Initiates process of RBC production by secretion of erythropoetin
  • Regulates amount of H+ and bicarbonate ions in blood {blood pH regulation}

Reproductive system

Although the reproductive system doesn’t contribute much to the homeostasis of an organism, it’s organs make sure that the existence of the species is maintained.

  • Sex hormones can affect functionality of other systems too

Ex: Osteoporosis is caused due to the drop in sexual hormones following menopause

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Categorised in: Medicine, Physiology

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