Sex Hormones & Pituitary Hormones Terminology

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  • 0:36 Hormones of the…
  • 2:40 Sex Hormones
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Instructor: Adrianne Baron

Adrianne has a master's degree in cancer biology and has taught high school and college biology.

We will look at the hormones that are released by the pituitary gland and the reproductive glands. We will discuss the functions of these hormones and how some of them work together.


Think back to when your body started going through all of those changes in the process called puberty! That entire process was dictated through messages being sent all over the body.

So, who sent the messages? Our hormones, of course. Hormones are chemical messengers that tell organs or glands in your body to start or stop doing something. Hormones are released into our bloodstream by various glands located throughout the body. This is a very organized process, and some hormones work together to cause an outcome, like puberty.

Hormones of the Pituitary Glands

There are quite a few hormones that are secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. The first one is luteinizing hormone, or LH, which causes the release of hormones from the ovaries or testes, in addition to the ovum maturation and ovulation in females. On rare occasions, you may see LH referred to as ICSH, which stands for interstitial cell-stimulating hormone.

Next, we have the follicle-stimulating hormone, or FSH, which causes the ovaries to develop an ovum and testes to produce sperm.

The thyroid-stimulating hormone is abbreviated as TSH. The name lets you know that its function is to stimulate the thyroid to release hormones.

Adrenocorticotropic hormone, or ACTH for short, is released to communicate with the adrenal cortex of the kidneys to stimulate the adrenal cortex to release its hormones.

Growth hormone, also called GH, is another instance where the name tells you the function of the hormone. GH functions to stimulate growth of all organs of the body.

Prolactin, sometimes called luteotropic hormone, gets released to cause breast development during pregnancy and milk secretion following pregnancy.

The back portion of the pituitary gland is the posterior pituitary gland, which releases the hormones oxytocin and antidiuretic hormone, or ADH. Oxytocin functions to start labor by causing uterine contractions and release milk into the ducts of the mammary glands.

Antidiuretic may look familiar to you if you have ever had to take a diuretic, or water pill, to reduce water retention. Antidiuretic hormone does the opposite of the diuretic, which means that it makes the kidneys retain water. ADH is also called vasopressin.

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