This chapter reviews the past of neuroendocrinology and summarize its present status. In doing so, the chapter can restate some old questions that are in need of answers. For example, if neuroendocrinology is the science dealing with neuroendocrine systems, what precisely is a neuroendocrine system? Do neuroendocrine systems possess properties and characteristics that are unique and distinguishable from those of other endocrine systems? The chapter begins its search for answers to these questions by reviewing some of the well-known, general characteristics of endocrine systems. It also deals with the question: How does a neuroendocrine system differ from a typical endocrine system? An essential characteristic of a neuroendocrine system is that the secretory cells are neural cells. Vasopressin, oxytocin, and adrenaline are examples of hormones which are synthesized, stored, and released by neural cells. These hormones, which are secreted by well-defined neuroendocrine systems, for example, the neurohypophysial system and adrenomedullary system, are transported via plasma of blood to effector cells. These particular neuroendocrine systems differ little from such well-recognized endocrine systems as the adrenocortical system, thyroidal system, parathyroidal system, etc.
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