Different Hormones and Their Functions- Endocrine System

Different Hormones and Their Functions- Endocrine System
The Love Hormone
Hormones are the chemical messengers of the body. They regulate the body physiology based on the signals from brain. They transfer the signal directly on to the respective organ or system for the changes to happen. So they are like the messengers carrying message from the brain to the other organs.

They are produced by the secretory cells of specific glands. These glands are of different types which synthesize and secrete the concerned hormone. But they do not release them into the blood. Instead the blood flows through these glands and carry away.

So they are termed as endocrine glands. Most of the hormones are named after the gland from which they are secreted.These are then carried by blood into target tissues where they show their effect.

  • They regulate most of the body physiology and functions.
  • They bring such changes by acting at the level of genetic material or proteList of hormonesin formation machinery of the cell.
  • These hormones if deficient or if excess can lead to hormonal disorders.
  • These can have deleterious effect on the health and physiology.

So how many hormones are there in the human body? Below is the comprehensive list with their functions.

Endocrine gland
HormoneMain tissues acted on by hormoneMain function of hormones
HypothalamusThyrotrophin releasing hormone (TRH)Anterior pituitaryStimulates release of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) from the anterior pituitary
SomatostatinAnterior pituitaryInhibitory hormone that prevents release of hormones such as growth hormone from the anterior pituitary
Gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH)Anterior pituitaryStimulates release of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone (LH) from the anterior pituitary
Corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH)Anterior pituitaryStimulates adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) release from the anterior pituitary
Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (GHRH)Anterior pituitaryStimulates release of growth hormone (GH) form the anterior pituitary
Anterior pituitaryThyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)Thyroid glandStimulates release of thyroxine and tri-iodothyronine from the thyroid gland
Luteinising hormone (LH)Ovary/TestisFemales: promotes ovulation of the egg and stimulates oestrogen and progesterone production Males: promotes testosterone release from the testis
Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)Ovary/TestisFemales: promotes development of eggs and follicles in the ovary prior to ovulationMales: promotes production of testosterone from testis
Growth Hormone (GH)Bones, cartilage, muscle, fat, liver, heartActs to promote growth of bones and organs
Prolactin (PRL)Breasts, brainStimulates milk production in the breasts and plays a role in sexual behaviour
Adrenocortico-trophic hormone (ACTH)Adrenal glandsStimulates the adrenal glands to produce mainly cortisol
Posterior pituitaryVasopressin (anti-diuretic hormone, ADH)Kidney, blood vessels, blood componentsActs to maintain blood pressure by causing the kidney to retain fluid and by constricting blood vessels
OxytocinUterus, milk ducts of breastsCauses ejection of milk from the milk ducts and causes constriction of the uterus during labour
Thyroid glandThyroxine (T4)Most tissuesActs to regulate the body’s metabolic rate
Tri-iodothyronine (T3)Most tissuesActs to regulate the body’s metabolic rate
Parathyroid glandsParathyroid hormone (PTH)Kidney, Bone cellsIncreases blood calcium levels in the blood when they are low
CalcitoninKidney, Bone cellsDecreases blood calcium levels when they are high
Adrenal cortexCortisolMost tissuesInvolved in a huge array of physiological functions including blood pressure regulation, immune system functioning and blood glucose regulation
AldosteroneKidneyActs to maintain blood pressure by causing salt and water retention
AndrogensMost tissuesSteroid hormones that promote development of male characteristics. Physiological function unclear
Adrenal medullaAdrenaline and noradrenaline (the catecholamines)Most tissuesInvolved in many physiological systems including blood pressure regulation, gastrointestinal movement and patency of the airways
PancreasInsulinMuscle, fat tissueActs to lower blood glucose levels
GlucagonLiverActs to raise blood glucose levels
SomatostatinPancreasActs to inhibit glucagon and insulin release
OvaryOestrogensBreast, Uterus, Internal and external genitaliaActs to promote development of female primary and secondary sexual characteristics. Important role in preparing the uterus for implantation of embryo
ProgesteroneBreastUterusAffects female sexual characteristics and important in the maintenance of pregnancy
TestisTestosteroneSexual organsPromotes the development of male sexual characteristics including sperm development
StomachGastrinStomachPromotes acid secretion in the stomach
Serotonin (5-HT)StomachCauses constriction of the stomach muscles
Duodenum and jejunumSecretinStomach, LiverInhibits secretions from the stomach and increases bile production
Cholecystokinin (CCK)Liver, PancreasStimulates release of bile from the gall bladder and causes the pancreas to release digestive enzymes
KidneyErythropoietinBone marrowStimulates red blood cell development in the bone marrow
HeartAtrial natiuretic factor (ANF)KidneyLowers blood pressure by promoting salt and water loss
SkinVitamin DSmall intestine, Kidney,
Bone cells
Stimulates the uptake of calcium in the small intestine, retention of calcium and release of calcium from bone stores
From the above list, the ones secreted by hypothalamus, anterior and posterior pituitary are formed in brain.
While rest are formed outside the brain. Once released they are carried on by blood to different regions.
The hormones on reaching the corresponding regions elicit their response.
It is quite interesting to see that the ones released from they also brain regulate the secretion of other hormones.
So it indicates that their secretion is controlled by brain and indirectly all the other hormones too. Thus the whole body physiology seems to be under the control of brain.
Any emotional disturbance to the brain can lead to alteration in secretion of these hormones. Thus we can see that during emotional changes we experience hormonal imbalance too.

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