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Biology > Human Hormones

Some of the main hormones, their most common abbreviation and the endocrine glands that produce them are listed in this table together with the main function for these hormones.

Endocrine gland Hormone Abbr. Main function(s)
Pineal Melatonin   Biological clock
Hypothalamus Antidiuretic hormone ADH Acts on the kidney to preserve fluid and electrolyte balance
  Proopiomelanocortin POMC Precursor hormone for ACTH and MSH
Pituitary Luteinizing hormone LH In females this LH acts on the ovary to stimulate the production of estrogens and induce ovulation. In males this LH acts on the testis to stimulate the production of testosterone.
  Follicle Stimulating hormone FSH In females FSH stimulates the maturation of ovarian follicles. In males FSH acts on Sertoli cells and participates in the regulation of sperm production.
  Adrenocorticotrophic hormone ACTH ACTH acts on the adrenal gland to stimulate the production of cortisol.
  Growth Hormone GH GH acts of various tissues to stimulate the growth.
  Prolactin Prl Milk let down during lactation
  Melanocyte stimulating hormone MSH Stimulates skin tone
  Thyroid stimulating hormone TSH TSH acts on the thyroid gland to signal the production of thyroxin
Pancreas Insulin   Regulates blood sugar levels.
Thyroid Triiodothyronine and thyroxine T3 and T4 Development of the brain and reproductive tract, and regulation of metabolism
Adrenal Cortisol   Immune suppression and stress response
Ovary Estrogens (estradiol, estrone, estriol) E2, E1, E3 Growth promotion, maintain elasticity of connective tissues, preserve bone mass and, vascular compliance,
    Progesterone P4 Maintain endometrium in preparation for pregnancy
   Testosterone T Precursor for estrogen and acts on libido.
   Inhibin   Feedback regulation on pituitary FSH secretion
Testes Testosterone T Growth of male secondary sexual characteristics, sperm production and libido
  Dihydrotestosterone DHT Some male secondary sexual characteristics.
  Inhibin   Feedback regulation on pituitary FSH secretion
Placenta Progesterone P4 Maintenance of pregnancy
   Estriol E3