What are the functions of the different types of hormone?

Endocrine gland Hormone Main tissues acted on by hormone Main function of hormones
Hypothalamus Thyrotrophin releasing hormone (TRH) Anterior pituitary Stimulates release of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) from the anterior pituitary
Somatostatin Anterior pituitary Inhibitory hormone that prevents release of hormones such as growth hormone from the anterior pituitary
Gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) Anterior pituitary Stimulates release of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone (LH) from the anterior pituitary
Corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH) Anterior pituitary Stimulates adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) release from the anterior pituitary
Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (GHRH) Anterior pituitary Stimulates release of growth hormone (GH) form the anterior pituitary
Anterior pituitary Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) Thyroid gland Stimulates release of thyroxine and tri-iodothyronine from the thyroid gland
Luteinising hormone (LH) Ovary/Testis Females: promotes ovulation of the egg and stimulates oestrogen and progesterone production Males: promotes testosterone release from the testis
Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) Ovary/Testis Females: 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, heart Acts to promote growth of bones and organs
Prolactin (PRL) Breasts, brain Stimulates milk production in the breasts and plays a role in sexual behaviour
Adrenocortico-trophic hormone (ACTH) Adrenal glands Stimulates the adrenal glands to produce mainly cortisol
Posterior pituitary Vasopressin (anti-diuretic hormone, ADH) Kidney, blood vessels, blood components Acts to maintain blood pressure by causing the kidney to retain fluid and by constricting blood vessels
Oxytocin Uterus, milk ducts of breasts Causes ejection of milk from the milk ducts and causes constriction of the uterus during labour
Thyroid gland Thyroxine (T4) Most tissues Acts to regulate the body’s metabolic rate
Tri-iodothyronine (T3) Most tissues Acts to regulate the body’s metabolic rate
Parathyroid glands Parathyroid hormone (PTH) Kidney, Bone cells Increases blood calcium levels in the blood when they are low
Calcitonin Kidney, Bone cells Decreases blood calcium levels when they are high
Adrenal cortex Cortisol Most tissues Involved in a huge array of physiological functions including blood pressure regulation, immune system functioning and blood glucose regulation
Aldosterone Kidney Acts to maintain blood pressure by causing salt and water retention
Androgens Most tissues Steroid hormones that promote development of male characteristics. Physiological function unclear
Adrenal medulla Adrenaline and noradrenaline (the catecholamines) Most tissues Involved in many physiological systems including blood pressure regulation, gastrointestinal movement and patency of the airways
Pancreas Insulin Muscle, fat tissue Acts to lower blood glucose levels
Glucagon Liver Acts to raise blood glucose levels
Somatostatin Pancreas Acts to inhibit glucagon and insulin release
Ovary Oestrogens Breast, Uterus, Internal and external genitalia Acts to promote development of female primary and secondary sexual characteristics. Important role in preparing the uterus for implantation of embryo
Progesterone BreastUterus Affects female sexual characteristics and important in the maintenance of pregnancy
Testis Testosterone Sexual organs Promotes the development of male sexual characteristics including sperm development
Stomach Gastrin Stomach Promotes acid secretion in the stomach
Serotonin (5-HT) Stomach Causes constriction of the stomach muscles
Duodenum and jejunum Secretin Stomach, Liver Inhibits secretions from the stomach and increases bile production
Cholecystokinin (CCK) Liver, Pancreas Stimulates release of bile from the gall bladder and causes the pancreas to release digestive enzymes
Kidney Erythropoietin Bone marrow Stimulates red blood cell development in the bone marrow
Heart Atrial natiuretic factor (ANF) Kidney Lowers blood pressure by promoting salt and water loss
Skin Vitamin D Small intestine, Kidney,
Bone cells
Stimulates the uptake of calcium in the small intestine, retention of calcium and release of calcium from bone stores