List of human hormones

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The following is a list of hormones found in Homo sapiens. Spelling is not uniform for many hormones. Current North America and international usage is estrogen, gonadotropin, while British usage retains the Greek diphthong in oestrogen and favors the earlier spelling gonadotrophin (from trophē ‘nourishment, sustenance’ rather than tropē ‘turning, change’).

Amino acid[edit]

NameAbbreviationTissueCellsReceptorTarget TissueEffect
MelatoninMTpineal glandmelatonin receptorCNS and peripheral tissuecircadian rhythm
TriiodothyronineT3peripheral tissuethyroid hormone receptornearly every cell in the bodyincreased metabolism
ThyroxineT4thyroid glandthyroid hormone receptorsimilar effect as T3 but much weaker


NameAbbreviationTissueCellsReceptorTarget TissueEffect
ProstaglandinsPGseminal vesicleprostaglandin receptorvasodilation, bronchoconstriction,platelet aggregation
LeukotrienesLTwhite blood cellsG protein-coupled receptorsincrease vascular permeability
ProstacyclinPGI2endotheliumprostacyclin receptor
ThromboxaneTXA2plateletsthromboxane receptorbronchoconstriction, vasoconstriction


NameAbbreviationTissueCellsReceptorTarget TissueEffect
Amylin (or Islet Amyloid Polypeptide)IAPPpancreaspancreatic β-cellsamylin receptorslowing down gastric emptying, inhibition of digestive secretion, and reducing food intake
Anti-Müllerian hormone (or Müllerian inhibiting factor or hormone)AMHtestesSertoli cellAMHR2Inhibit release of prolactin and TRH from anterior pituitary
AdiponectinAcrp30adipose tissueadiponectin receptors
Adrenocorticotropic hormone (or corticotropin)ACTHanterior pituitarycorticotropeACTH receptor → cAMPsynthesis of corticosteroids (glucocorticoids and androgens) in adrenocortical cells
Angiotensinogen and angiotensinAGTliverangiotensin receptor → IP3vasoconstriction

release of aldosterone from adrenal cortex dipsogen.

Antidiuretic hormone (or vasopressin, arginine vasopressin)ADHposterior pituitaryParvocellular neurosecretory neurons in hypothalamus
Magnocellular neurosecretory cells in posterior pituitary
severalretention of water in kidneys
moderate vasoconstriction
Release ACTH in anterior pituitary
Atrial-natriuretic peptide (or atriopeptin)ANPheartANP receptorcGMP
Brain natriuretic peptideBNPheartCardiac myocytesNPR(To a minor degree than ANP) reduce blood pressure by:

reducing systemic vascular resistance, reducing blood water, sodium and fats

CalcitoninCTthyroid glandparafollicular cellCT receptor → cAMPConstruct bone, reduce blood Ca2+
CholecystokininCCKduodenumCCK receptorRelease of digestive enzymes from pancreas
Release of bile from gallbladder
Hunger suppressant
Corticotropin-releasing hormoneCRHhypothalamusCRF1 → cAMPRelease ACTH from anterior pituitary
EnkephalinKidneyChromaffin cellsOpioid receptorRegulate pain
EndothelinVascular EndotheliumEndothelial CellsET receptorSmooth muscle contraction of medium sized vessels
ErythropoietinEPOkidneyExtraglomerular mesangial cellsEpoRStimulate erythrocyte production
Follicle-stimulating hormoneFSHanterior pituitarygonadotropeFSH receptor → cAMPIn female: stimulates maturation of Graafian follicles in ovary.

In male: spermatogenesis, enhances production of androgen-binding protein by the Sertoli cells of the testes

GalaninGALcentral nervous system and gastrointestinal tractGALR1, GALR2, and GALR3modulation and inhibition of action potentials in neurons
GastrinGRPstomach, duodenumG cellCCK2Secretion of gastric acid by parietal cells
GhrelinstomachP/D1 cellghrelin receptorStimulate appetite,

secretion of growth hormone from anterior pituitary gland

GlucagonGCGpancreasalpha cellsGlucagon receptor → cAMPglycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis in liver

increases blood glucose level

Gonadotropin-releasing hormoneGnRHhypothalamusGnRH receptor → IP3Release of FSH and LH from anterior pituitary.
Growth hormone-releasing hormoneGHRHhypothalamusGHRH receptor → IP3Release GH from anterior pituitary
HepcidinHAMPliverferroportininhibits iron export from cells
Human chorionic gonadotropinhCGplacentasyncytiotrophoblast cellsLH receptor → cAMPpromote maintenance of corpus luteum during beginning of pregnancy

Inhibit immune response, towards the human embryo.

Human placental lactogenHPLplacentaincrease production of insulin and IGF-1

increase insulin resistance and carbohydrate intolerance

Growth hormoneGH or hGHanterior pituitarysomatotropesGH receptorstimulates growth and cell reproduction

Release Insulin-like growth factor 1 from liver

Inhibintestes, ovary, fetusSertoli cells of testes
granulosa cells of ovary
trophoblasts in fetus
anterior pituitaryInhibit production of FSH
InsulinINSpancreasbeta cellsinsulin receptor, IGF-1, IGF-2Intake of glucose, glycogenesis and glycolysis in liver and muscle from blood

intake of lipids and synthesis of triglycerides in adipocytes Other anabolic effects

Insulin-like growth factor (or somatomedin)IGFliverHepatocytesinsulin receptor, IGF-1insulin-like effects

regulate cell growth and development

LeptinLEPadipose tissueLEP-Rdecrease of appetite and increase of metabolism.
LipotropinLPHanterior pituitaryCorticotropeslipolysis and steroidogenesis,
stimulates melanocytes to produce melanin
Luteinizing hormoneLHanterior pituitarygonadotropesLHR → cAMPIn female: ovulation

In male: stimulates Leydig cell production of testosterone

Melanocyte stimulating hormoneMSH or α-MSHanterior pituitary/pars intermediaMelanotrophmelanocortin receptor → cAMPmelanogenesis by melanocytes in skin and hair
MotilinMLNSmall intestineMotilin receptorstimulates gastric activity
OrexinhypothalamusOX1, OX2wakefulness and increased energy expenditure, increased appetite
OxytocinOXTposterior pituitaryMagnocellular neurosecretory cellsOXT receptor → IP3release breast milk

Contraction of cervix and vagina Involved in orgasm, trust between people.[1] and circadian homeostasis (body temperature, activity level, wakefulness).[2]

Pancreatic polypeptidePancreasPP cellspancreatic polypeptide receptor 1Self-regulation of pancreatic secretions (endocrine and exocrine). It also affects hepatic glycogen levels and gastrointestinal secretions.
Parathyroid hormonePTHparathyroid glandparathyroid chief cellPTH receptor → cAMPincrease blood Ca2+:

(Slightly) decrease blood phosphate:

  • (decreased reuptake in kidney but increased uptake from bones
  • activate vitamin D)
ProlactinPRLanterior pituitary, uteruslactotrophs of anterior pituitary
Decidual cells of uterus
PRL receptormilk production in mammary glands
sexual gratification after sexual acts
Prolactin releasing hormonePRHhypothalamusRelease prolactin from anterior pituitary
RelaxinRLNuterusDecidual cellsRLN receptorUnclear in humans
ReninKidneyJuxtaglomerular cellsActivates the renin-angiotensin system by producing angiotensin I of angiotensinogen
SecretinSCTduodenumS cellSCT receptorSecretion of bicarbonate from liver, pancreas and duodenal Brunner's glands

Enhances effects of cholecystokinin Stops production of gastric juice

SomatostatinSRIFhypothalamus, islets of Langerhans, gastrointestinal systemdelta cells in islets
Neuroendocrince cells of the Periventricular nucleus in hypothalamus
Somatostatin receptorInhibit release of GH and TRH from anterior pituitary
Suppress release of gastrin, cholecystokinin (CCK), secretin, motilin, vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP), enteroglucagon in gastrointestinal system
Lowers rate of gastric emptying

Reduces smooth muscle contractions and blood flow within the intestine[3]
Inhibit release of insulin from beta cells[4]
Inhibit release of glucagon from alpha cells[4]
Suppress the exocrine secretory action of pancreas.

ThrombopoietinTPOliver, kidney, striated muscleMyocytesTPO receptormegakaryocytesproduce platelets[5]
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (or thyrotropin)TSHanterior pituitarythyrotropesThyrotropin receptor → cAMPthyroid glandsecrete thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3)
Thyrotropin-releasing hormoneTRHhypothalamusParvocellular neurosecretory neuronsTRHR → IP3anterior pituitaryRelease thyroid-stimulating hormone (primarily)
Stimulate prolactin release
Vasoactive intestinal peptideVIPgut, pancreas, and suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamusVasoactive intestinal peptide receptorstimulates contractility in the heart, causes vasodilation, increases glycogenolysis, lowers arterial blood pressure and relaxes the smooth muscle of trachea, stomach and gall bladder


Chemical classNameAbbreviationTissueCellsReceptorTarget TissueEffect
androgenTestosteronetestesLeydig cellsARlibido, Anabolic: growth of muscle mass and strength, increased bone density, growth and strength,

Virilizing: maturation of sex organs, formation of scrotum, deepening of voice, growth of beard and axillary hair.

androgenDehydroepiandrosteroneDHEAtestes, ovary, kidneyZona fasciculata and Zona reticularis cells of kidney
theca cells of ovary
Leydig cellss of testes
ARVirilization, anabolic
androgenAndrostenedioneadrenal glands, gonadsARSubstrate for estrogen
androgenDihydrotestosteroneDHTmultipleAR5-DHT or DHT is a male reproductive hormone that targets the prostate gland, bulbourethral gland, seminal vesicles, penis and scrotum and promotes growth/mitosis/cell maturation and differentiation. Testosterone is converted to 5-DHT by 5alpha-reductase, usually with in the target tissues of 5-DHT because of the need for high concentrations of 5-dht to produced the physiological effects.
mineralocorticoidAldosteroneadrenal cortex (zona glomerulosa)MRIncrease blood volume by reabsorption of sodium in kidneys (primarily)

Potassium and H+ secretion in kidney.

estrogenEstradiolE2females: ovary, males testesfemales: granulosa cells, males: Sertoli cellERFemales:


Protein synthesis:

  • increase hepatic production of binding proteins


Increase HDL, triglyceride, height growth Decrease LDL, fat deposition Fluid balance:

Gastrointestinal tract:

  • reduce bowel motility
  • increase cholesterol in bile


Cancer: support hormone-sensitive breast cancers[6] Suppression of production in the body of estrogen is a treatment for these cancers.

Lung function:

Males: Prevent apoptosis of germ cells[8]

estrogenEstroneovarygranulosa cells, AdipocytesER
glucocorticoidCortisoladrenal cortex (zona fasciculata and zona reticularis cells)GRStimulation of gluconeogenesis

Inhibition of glucose uptake in muscle and adipose tissue Mobilization of amino acids from extrahepatic tissues Stimulation of fat breakdown in adipose tissue anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive

progestogenProgesteroneovary, adrenal glands, placenta (when pregnant)Granulosa cells theca cells of ovaryPRSupport pregnancy:[9]


secosteroidCalcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3)skin/proximal tubule of kidneysVDRActive form of vitamin D3

Increase absorption of calcium and phosphate from gastrointestinal tract and kidneys inhibit release of PTH

secosteroidCalcidiol (25-hydroxyvitamin D3)skin/proximal tubule of kidneysVDRInactive form of vitamin D3


  1. ^ Kosfeld M, Heinrichs M, Zak PJ, Fischbacher U, Fehr E (June 2005). "Oxytocin increases trust in humans". Nature 435 (7042): 673–6. doi:10.1038/nature03701. PMID 15931222. 
  2. ^ Scientific American Mind, "Rhythm and Blues"; June/July 2007; Scientific American Mind; by Ulrich Kraft
  3. ^ Colorado State University - Biomedical Hypertextbooks - Somatostatin
  4. ^ a b Physiology at MCG 5/5ch4/s5ch4_17
  5. ^ Kaushansky K (May 2006). "Lineage-specific hematopoietic growth factors". N. Engl. J. Med. 354 (19): 2034–45. doi:10.1056/NEJMra052706. PMID 16687716. 
  6. ^ Hormonal Therapy
  7. ^ Massaro D, Massaro GD (2004). "Estrogen regulates pulmonary alveolar formation, loss, and regeneration in mice". American Journal of Physiology. Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 287 (6): L1154–9. doi:10.1152/ajplung.00228.2004. PMID 15298854. 
  8. ^ Pentikäinen V, Erkkilä K, Suomalainen L, Parvinen M, Dunkel L. "Estradiol Acts as a Germ Cell Survival Factor in the Human Testis in vitro. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 2006;85:2057-67 doi:10.1210/jc.85.5.2057 PMID 10843196
  9. ^ a b Placental Hormones
  10. ^ Physiology at MCG 5/5ch9/s5ch9_13
  11. ^ Hould F, Fried G, Fazekas A, Tremblay S, Mersereau W (1988). "Progesterone receptors regulate gallbladder motility". J Surg Res 45 (6): 505–12. doi:10.1016/0022-4804(88)90137-0. PMID 3184927.