GRE Subject Test: Biology : Understanding Glands and Target Organs

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GRE Subject Test: Biology

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Understanding Glands And Target Organs

Which gland releases hormones that help regulate blood glucose levels?

Possible Answers:

Adrenal cortex

Anterior pituitary gland

Pancreas

Parathyroid gland

Correct answer:

Pancreas

Explanation:

The two major hormones that control blood sugar levels are glucagon and insulin. Glucagon helps raise blood glucose levels, while insulin decreases blood sugar levels. Both of these hormones are created and secreted by the pancreas.

The parathyroid gland secretes parathyroid hormone, which stimulates the synthesis of bone matrix to lower blood calcium levels. The adrenal cortex releases glucocorticoids, such as aldosterone, cortisone, and cortisol. The anterior pituitary gland secretes a number of hormones, including adrenocorticotropic hormone, thyroid-stimulating hormone, and growth hormone.

Example Question #2 : Understanding Glands And Target Organs

Which gland releases oxytocin and antidiuretic hormone?

Possible Answers:

Anterior pituitary gland

Posterior pituitary gland

Thyroid gland

Adrenal cortex

Correct answer:

Posterior pituitary gland

Explanation:

The pituitary gland has two separate sections: the anterior and posterior lobes. The anterior pituitary gland releases, among other hormones, growth hormone, prolactin, and thyroid-stimulating hormone. The posterior pituitary gland only releases two hormones: oxytocin and antidiuretic hormone. These hormones are synthesized in the hypothalamus and transferred to the posterior pituitary for release.

The thyroid gland releases the thyroid hormones T3 and T4, as well as calcitonin. The adrenal cortex secretes glucocorticoids, such as aldosterone, cortisone, and cortisol.

Example Question #3 : Understanding Glands And Target Organs

Adrenocorticotropic hormone will enter the blood stream, and act on which structure in the body?

Possible Answers:

Adrenal gland

Kidney

Liver

Pituitary gland

Correct answer:

Adrenal gland

Explanation:

Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) is secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. It then travels and stimulates the adrenal gland cortex to release its hormones.

Example Question #4 : Understanding Glands And Target Organs

Which endocrine gland releases aldosterone?

Possible Answers:

Posterior pituitary gland

Thyroid gland

Adrenal gland

Pancreas

Correct answer:

Adrenal gland

Explanation:

Aldosterone is secreted by the adrenal gland, specifically the adrenal cortex.

Example Question #5 : Understanding Glands And Target Organs

A person with low blood calcium will have increased activity in which gland?

Possible Answers:

Pituitary gland

Parathyroid glands

Thyroid gland

Pancreas

Correct answer:

Parathyroid glands

Explanation:

Blood calcium levels are controlled primarily by the thyroid and parathyroid glands. The parathyroid glands secrete parathyroid hormone (or PTH), which raises blood calcium levels, while the thyroid gland decreases blood calcium levels via the hormone calcitonin. Since the person currently has low blood calcium, the goal is to raise the blood calcium to normal levels. As a result, we can expect to see increased activity in the parathyroid glands.

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