Since disturbances of body growth are not infrequently associated with endocrine disorders, attempts have been made to establish the role of the ductless glands in the maintenance of normal and in the initiation of pathologic skeletal development. The tendency is to consider the anterior hypophysis as the master gland controlling skeletal growth by a single specific growth hormone. Other endocrines are thought by many to affect growth only by acting first on the hypophysis.1 More recent anthropologic and comparative anatomic observations, however, indicate that skeletal development is primarily genetically determined, although it may be modified by the secretions of ductless glands.2 Moreover, hormones may influence not only skeletal growth but also skeletal aging, and often the aging effect outbalances the growth promoting.3
Histologically there are three phases of skeletal growth and aging, the first characterized by growth of cartilage, the second showing increasing regression of cartilage and
THE INFLUENCE OF THE ENDOCRINE GLANDS ON GROWTH AND AGING OF THE SKELETON. JAMA. 1943;123(13):838. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840480038013
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