thyroid gland defined in 1951 yearthyroid gland - thyroid gland;
thyroid gland - An endocrine gland of vertebrates. Unpaired organ in neck region, formed embryonically from endodermal cells of floor of pharynx, homologous with endostyle of amphioxus and ammocoetes. Secretes iodine-containing hormones (See also: Thyroxin, Thyroglobulin), principal effect of which is to increase rate of oxida-tive processes. In amphibian tadpoles secretion of thyroid initiates metamorphosis. Thyroid gland is itself controlled by pituitary (thyrotrophic hormone). A trace of iodine in the diet is necessary to supply the thyroid, and deficiency of iodine produces enlargement (hyperplasia) of thyroid (one kind of goitre in man). Lack of the hormone from whatever cause, in human infants, produces mental and physical stunting (cretinism). Mammalian thyroid also secretes hormone calcitonin.
near thyroid gland in Knolik
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