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Describe the role of the main harmones and name the Endocrine Glands that produce them?



This study deals with the essential aspects of the endocrine system. As stated by Rogers (2012), a collection of glands producing hormones to regulate metabolism, development, growth, reproduction, tissue function, sleep, mood and sexual function constitute the endocrine system. Through this assignment, the role of the hormones, bloodstream and target cells in relation to cell membrane structure and protein receptors are highlighted to have a clear insight on the working of the endocrine system.

Role of main hormones and the glands that produce them:

The endocrine system is composed of several glands secreting relevant chemicals and hormones assisting the body to cope with the different levels of stress and events it encounters. Koch and Chrousos (2012) identified the major glands constituting the endocrine system as the Thyroid gland, Parathyroid gland, Adrenal gland, Pancreas, Pituitary gland, Ovaries (in females) and Testes (in males). The relevant hormones they produce are:







Thyroid gland

Parathyroid gland

Adrenal gland


Pituitary gland



Pineal gland

Thyroid hormone (TH) as Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3),

Parathyroid hormone (PTH) as

Aldosterone, cortisol, adrenaline and non-adrenaline

Insulin, glucagon

Growth hormone (GH), Prolactin, Adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ADCH), Luteininzing hormone (LH), Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), oxytocin, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and Antiduretic hormone (ADH)

Estrogens, Progesterone



Table 1: Endocrine glands and the hormones produced by them

(Source: Kovacs and Ojeda, 2012, p. 24)

The pituitary gland is the master gland as its hormones influence the actions of most of the other glands and organs of the body. GH helps in growth of children and maintaining healthy bone mass and muscle of adults. Prolactin stimulates milk production in women. ADCH aids in stress reduction by promoting cortisol production and maintains blood pressure. TSH assists in healthy metabolism by regulating body thyroid. LH performs estrogen regulation in women and testosterone regulation in men. FSH stimulates egg release in women and normal sperm functioning in men. Oxytocin promotes milk flow in mothers and initiate timely contractions in pregnancy. ADH or vasopressin aids in water regulation in body (, 2015).  


The T3 hormone assists in digestive and heart functions, body’s metabolic rate, bone maintenance, muscle control and brain development. The T4 affects protein synthesis, neural maturation and increase body sensitivity to catecholamines as adrenaline. Vitamin metabolism depicts effect of T4. The PTH regulates serum calcium, serum phosphate and vitamin D synthesis.  The aldosterone hormone acts in regulating blood pressure. It also influences neurogenesis positively through mineralocorticoid receptors. Isaacs (2012) emphasized on the prime role of cortisol in maintaining homeostasis. It increases blood sugar levels through glucogenesis ad suppress immune system thereby aiding in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism and decrease in bone formation. Cortisol stimulates gluconeogenesis in fasting state initially and terminally stimulates glycogenesis.Adrenalin and non-adrenalin act as chemical mediators convey nerve impulses to effectors organs. It has a bronchodilation effect on organs lacking direct sympathetic innervations. The non-adrenaline increase rate of heart contractions, affect brain portions controlling attention and responses. It is the flight-or-fight hormone triggering glucose release and increasing blood flow to skeletal muscle (Kovacs and Ojeda, 2012). Melatonin is an animal hormone regulating blood pressure, seasonal reproduction and sleep timing. The insulin and glucagon maintains blood glucose level. Glucagon stimulates glycogenolysis and insulin stimulates glycogenesis thus acting together to maintain constant glucose level in blood. The estrogen assists in growth and development in women. Progesterone helps in implantation of fertilized egg supporting healthy pregnancy. Testosterone aids in maintenance of stamina, muscle mass and strength supporting bone density, libido, memory and well-being in men.


Role of bloodstream in the endocrine process:

The glands of the endocrine system release their hormone secretion directly into the bloodstream inside body. The major functions of the endocrine system involving regulation of several essential metabolic and other body activities takes place through the hormones. Kholadava and Bourko (2014) highlight the importance of the bloodstream as it assist in carrying the hormone from their point of secretion to the point of action. The glands of the endocrine system works by selecting and removing the relevant materials from blood, processing these materials and secreting the final product at the appropriate place to act in the body.The bloodstream plays a very important role in proper functioning of the endocrine system in context of transportation of the released hormone to relevant place of action. The plasma of blood assists in the maintenance of the endocrine hormones at the necessary levels while reaching the organs or site of action (Cutillo, 2012).

Role of target cells and relation between cell membrane structure and protein receptors:

The target cells are the vital components of the endocrine system on which the specific hormones released by the endocrine glands work. As asserted by Isaacs (2012), the presence of the specific receptors on the target cells enable the cell to recognize the hormone and attach to it to allow its function on the cell. The proteins and peptides of the receptor structure depict water solubility thus preventing diffusion across the hydrophobic lipid cell membranes leaving the receptors extracellular to couple with the intracellular signal transducing molecules through cell membrane traversion.

Cutillo (2012) highlights the receptor dimerisation with adjacent receptor on binding of hormone or growth factor to the extracellular domain. Most protein and peptide hormone depicts G-protein linked receptors with short extracellular amino terminal domain or longer extracellular domain. The membrane ion channels activation occurs through intracellular trimeric G-protein dissociation through extracellular hormone-receptor interactions (Saenger and Haucke, 2012).



The current study thus reveals the high significance of the endocrine system glands and their hormones. The major glands and the role of the hormones secreted by the glands are highlighted. It is clear that the bloodstream plays a significant role in transporting the hormones to the relevant sites of action. The structure of the cell membrane and their interaction with the protein receptor across the target cells is clearly depicted through this study. Thus, the endocrine glands and the hormones emerge as highly essential in maintaining and regulating the vital body processes.


Bordbar, M., Taj-aldini, R., Karamizadeh, Z., Haghpanah, S., Karimi, M. and Omrani, G. (2012). Thyroid function and stress hormones in children with stress hyperglycemia. Endocrine, 42(3), pp.653-657.

Cutillo, D. (2012). The hormone "shift". Bloomington, IN: Balboa Press

Goodman, H. (2009). Basic medical endocrinology. Amsterdam: Elsevier., (2015). What is the Function of Endocrine Glands & Types Of Hormones Released?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Apr. 2015].

Isaacs, S. (2012). Hormonal balance. Chicago: Bull Publishing Company.

Kholadava, A. and Bourko, I. (2014). Teaching system of self-control in endocrinology. EJEA.

Koch, C. and Chrousos, G. (2012). Endocrine hypertension. New York: Humana Press.

Kovacs, W. and Ojeda, S. (2012). Textbook of endocrine physiology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Rogers, K. (2012). The endocrine system. New York: Britannica Educational Pub. in association with Rosen Educational Services.

Saenger, W. and Haucke, V. (2012). Structure and function of membrane-integral receptors.European Journal of Cell Biology, 91(4), p.225.

Yongtao, Z., Kunzheng, W., Jingjing, Z., Hu, S., Jianqiang, K., Ruiyu, L. and Chunsheng, W. (2014). Glucocorticoids activate the local renin–angiotensin system in bone: possible mechanism for glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis. Endocrine, 47(2), pp.598-608.


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