On the physiology of metazoa
- Cite this article as:
- Ameen, A.R. Experientia (1996) 52: 189. doi:10.1007/BF01920707
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The problem of integration and control of the various processes of the metazoan organism is a major challenge to the physiologist. The traditional research strategy in dealing with the problem is neuron-oriented and its roots extend back into the last century when knowledge of hormones was lacking. In the present article, the traditional strategy is analyzed in the light of available data and its logical basis is questioned. Different levels of communication are supposed to occur in the animal or human body. Circulating hormones are responsible for the highest level of communication that occurs between organs or tissues. The central concept in the article is that regulation of circulating hormones constitutes a higher level of control relative to regulation of intercellular hormones. This is regardless of whether the latter occurs in the nervous system or elsewhere. The approach is utilized in defining the mechanism that integrates and controls the part processes of the body. The mechanism is defined as endothelial; the vascular endothelial system is the controlling part and the nervous system is one of the subordinate parts. Thanks to the new approach, meaningful biological explanations of major psychiatric disorders are now possible.