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Question Video: Recalling the Definition of the Term “Target Organs” Biology

Once released from endocrine glands, hormones will travel in the bloodstream and bind to specific receptors on the cells of particular organs within the body. What term is given to these organs?

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Video Transcript

Once released from endocrine glands, hormones will travel in the bloodstream and bind to specific receptors on the cells of particular organs within the body. What term is given to these organs? (A) Sensory organs, (B) receptive organs, (C) selected organs, or (D) target organs.

This question asks about some terminology we use to describe the human endocrine system, which is made up of endocrine glands. Hormones are chemical messengers that are produced by the cells in endocrine glands and released into the bloodstream in order to modulate the activity of other cells, particular organs, or even other endocrine glands.

So what is the correct term for the organs these hormones are destined for? The correct terminology is target organs. Within these organs, a target cell responds to specific hormones because it has receptors for this specific chemical messenger. Depending on the type of hormone, the receptors are either located at the surface of the cell or within the cell. The binding of the hormone to its receptor triggers a cascade of reactions within the cell that modulates its function. In contrast, cells that do not have such types of receptors will not respond to the hormones as they are not the target. This system of hormonal receptors on target cells enables a specific action of hormones on certain target organs.

With the information we have learned, we can answer this question correctly. The particular organs whose cells hormones bind to are known as (D) target organs.

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