How the Nervous System Interacts
with Other Body Systems
All of the systems within the body interact with one another to keep an organism healthy. Although each system has specific functions, they are all interconnected and dependent on one another. The nervous system controls various organs of the body directly. The brain also receives information from many organs of the body and adjusts signals to these organs to maintain proper functioning.

SYSTEMFUNCTIONASSOCIATED ORGANSINTERACTION WITH THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
Skeletal System

The skeletal system makes up the framework of the body and allows us to move when our muscles contract. It stores minerals (e.g. calcium, phosphorous) and releases them into the body when they are needed. The skeletal system also protects internal organs and produces blood cells. Bones (e.g., skull, vertebrae)
  • Bones provide calcium that is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system.
  • The skull protects the brain from injury.
  • The vertebrae protect the spinal cord from injury.
  • Sensory receptors in joints between bones send signals about body position to the brain.
  • The brain regulates the position of bones by controlling muscles.
Cardiovascular System

The cardiovascular system delivers oxygen, hormones, nutrients and white blood cells around the body by pumping blood, and it removes waste products. Heart, blood vessels
  • Endothelial cells maintain the blood-brain barrier.
  • Baroreceptors send information to the brain about blood pressure.
  • Cerebrospinal fluid drains into the venous blood supply.
  • The brain regulates heart rate and blood pressure.
Muscular System

Different types of muscles enable motion, generate heat to maintain body temperature, move food through digestive tract and contract the heart. Muscles (smooth, skeletal and cardiac muscles)
  • Receptors in muscles provide the brain with information about body position and movement.
  • The brain controls the contraction of skeletal muscle.
  • The nervous system regulates the speed at which food moves through the digestive tract.
Endocrine System

The endocrine system secretes hormones into blood and other body fluids. These chemicals are important for metabolism, growth, water and mineral balance, and the response to stress. Pineal body, pituitary gland, hypothalamus, thyroid, parathyroid, heart, adrenal gland, kidney, pancreas, stomach, intestines, ovary
  • Hormones provide feedback to the brain to affect neural processing.
  • Reproductive hormones affect the development of the nervous system.
  • The hypothalamus controls the pituitary gland and other endocrine glands.
Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system protects the body from infection. Adenoid, tonsils, thymus, lymph nodes, spleen
  • The brain can stimulate defense mechanisms against infection.
Respiratory System

The respiratory system supplies oxygen to the blood and removes carbon dioxide. Lungs, larynx, pharynx, trachea, bronchi
  • The brain monitors respiratory volume and blood gas levels.
  • The brain regulates respiratory rate.
Digestive System

The digestive system stores and digests foods, transfers nutrients to the body, eliminates waste and absorbs water. Stomach, esophagus, salivary glands, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, intestines
  • Digestive processes provide the building blocks for some neurotransmitters.
  • The autonomic nervous system controls the tone of the digestive tract.
  • The brain controls drinking and feeding behavior.
  • The brain controls muscles for eating and elimination.
  • The digestive system sends sensory information to the brain.
Reproductive System

The reproductive system is responsible for producing new life. Testes, vas deferens, prostate gland, ovary, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix
  • Reproductive hormones affect brain development and sexual behavior.
  • The brain controls mating behavior.
Urinary System

The urinary system eliminates waste products and maintains water balance and chemical balance. Bladder, urethra, kidney
  • The bladder sends sensory information to the brain.
  • The brain controls urination.
Integumentary System

The integumentary system reduces water loss, contains receptors that respond to touch, regulates body temperature, and protects the inside of the body from damage. Skin, hair
  • Receptors in skin send sensory information to the brain.
  • The autonomic nervous system regulates peripheral blood flow and sweat glands.
  • Nerves control muscles connected to hair follicles.

BACK TO: Exploring the Nervous System Table of Contents

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