The shortened textual description of a physiologically based model of the hormonal relationships during the rat estrus cycle, as developed by Willems et al. , is useful in visualizing the complexity of the endocrine system. This estrus cycle model (ECM) incorporates six physiological compartments belonging to the endocrine system; the hypothalamus (including the hypothalamus-pitu-itary portal system), the pituitary, the liver, the ovaries, the gastro-intestinal tract, and the liver (Fig. 7). The changes in hormone levels between these compartments are established with ordinary differential equations.
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