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. For example, current North American and international usage is estrogen, gonadotropin, while British usage retains the Greek digraph in oestrogen and favors the earlier spelling gonadotrophin (from trophē 'nourishment, sustenance' rather than tropē 'turning, change').

Amino acid derived hormones[edit]

Name Abbreviation Tissue Cells/Amino acid Receptor Target Tissue Effect
Epinephrine EPI adrenal gland Adrenal medulla / Tyrosine adrenergic receptor nearly all tissues blood pressure, glycogenolysis, lipolysis, etc.
Melatonin MT pineal gland Pinealocyte / Tryptophan melatonin receptor CNS and peripheral tissue circadian rhythm
Norepinephrine NE adrenal gland Adrenal medulla / Tyrosine noradrenergic receptor nearly all tissues blood pressure, glycogenolysis, lipolysis, etc.
Triiodothyronine T3 peripheral tissue of thyroid gland Thyroid Follicular cell / Tyrosine thyroid hormone receptor nearly every cell in the body increased metabolism
Thyroxine T4 thyroid gland Thyroid Follicular cell / Tyrosine thyroid hormone receptor similar effect as T3 but much weaker. Converted to T3 in target cells.
Dopamine DA Substantia nigra (mainly) Phenylalanine/


System-wide Regulation of cellular cAMP levels, prolactin antagonist.


Eicosanoid for more information about this class of paracrine signalling chemicals and hormones.

Name Abbreviation Tissue Cells Receptor Target Tissue Effect

Prostaglandins PG seminal vesicle prostaglandin receptor vasodilation
Leukotrienes LT Blood white blood cells G protein-coupled receptors increase vascular permeability
Prostacyclin PGI2 endothelium prostacyclin receptor
Thromboxane TXA2 Blood platelets thromboxane receptor vasoconstriction, Platelet Aggregation


Name Abbreviation Tissue Cells Receptor Target Tissue Effect
Amylin (or Islet Amyloid Polypeptide) IAPP pancreas pancreatic β-cells amylin receptor slowing down gastric emptying, inhibition of digestive secretion, in order to reduce food intake
Anti-Müllerian hormone (or Müllerian inhibiting factor or hormone) AMH testes Sertoli cell AMHR2 Inhibit release of prolactin and TRH from anterior pituitary
Adiponectin Acrp30 adipose tissue adiponectin receptors
Adrenocorticotropic hormone (or corticotropin) ACTH anterior pituitary corticotrope ACTH receptor → cAMP synthesis of corticosteroids (glucocorticoids and androgens) in adrenocortical cells
Angiotensinogen and angiotensin AGT liver angiotensin receptor → IP3 vasoconstriction

release of aldosterone from adrenal cortex dipsogen.

Antidiuretic hormone (or vasopressin, arginine vasopressin) ADH posterior pituitary Parvocellular neurosecretory neurons in hypothalamus
Magnocellular neurosecretory cells in posterior pituitary
AVPRs, VACM-1 retention of water in kidneys
moderate vasoconstriction
Release ACTH in anterior pituitary
Atrial-natriuretic peptide (or atriopeptin) ANP heart ANP receptorcGMP
Brain natriuretic peptide BNP heart[dubious ] Cardiac myocytes NPR (To a minor degree than ANP) reduce blood pressure by:

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

Calcitonin CT thyroid gland parafollicular cell CT receptor → cAMP Construct bone, reduce blood Ca2+
Cholecystokinin CCK duodenum CCK receptor Release of digestive enzymes from pancreas
Release of bile from gallbladder
Hunger suppressant
Corticotropin-releasing hormone CRH hypothalamus CRF1 → cAMP Release ACTH from anterior pituitary
Cortistatin CORT cerebral cortex inhibitory neurons Somatostatin receptor depression of neuronal activity; induction of slow-wave sleep; reduction of locomotor activity; activation of cation selective currents not responsive to somatostatin
Enkephalin Kidney Chromaffin cells Opioid receptor Regulate pain
Endothelin Vascular endothelium Endothelial cells ET receptor Smooth muscle contraction of medium-sized vessels
Erythropoietin EPO kidney Extraglomerular mesangial cells EpoR Stimulate erythrocyte production
Follicle-stimulating hormone FSH anterior pituitary gonadotrope FSH receptor → cAMP In female: stimulates maturation of Graafian follicles in ovary.

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

Galanin GAL central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract GALR1, GALR2, and GALR3 modulation and inhibition of action potentials in neurons
Gastric inhibitory polypeptide GIP mucosa of the duodenum and the jejunum K cell GIPR Induces insulin secretion
Gastrin GAS stomach, duodenum G cell CCK2 Secretion of gastric acid by parietal cells
Ghrelin stomach P/D1 cell ghrelin receptor Stimulate appetite,

secretion of growth hormone from anterior pituitary gland

Glucagon GCG pancreas alpha cells Glucagon receptor → cAMP glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis in liver

increases blood glucose level

Glucagon-like peptide-1 GLP1 ileum L cells GLP1R, GLP2R pancreatic beta cells Stimulates the adenylyl cyclase pathway, resulting in increased synthesis and release of insulin
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone GnRH hypothalamus GnRH receptor → IP3 Release of FSH and LH from anterior pituitary.
Growth hormone-releasing hormone GHRH hypothalamus GHRH receptor → IP3 Release GH from anterior pituitary
Hepcidin HAMP liver ferroportin inhibits iron export from cells
Human chorionic gonadotropin hCG placenta syncytiotrophoblast cells LH receptor → cAMP promote maintenance of corpus luteum during beginning of pregnancy

Inhibit immune response, towards the human embryo.

Human placental lactogen HPL placenta increase production of insulin and IGF-1

increase insulin resistance and carbohydrate intolerance

Growth hormone GH or hGH anterior pituitary somatotropes GH receptor stimulates growth and cell reproduction

Release Insulin-like growth factor 1 from liver

Inhibin testes, ovary, fetus Sertoli cells of testes
granulosa cells of ovary
trophoblasts in fetus
anterior pituitary Inhibit production of FSH
Insulin INS pancreas beta cells insulin receptor, IGF-1, IGF-2 Intake 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) IGF liver Hepatocytes insulin receptor, IGF-1 insulin-like effects

regulate cell growth and development

Leptin LEP adipose tissue LEP-R decrease of appetite and increase of metabolism.
Lipotropin LPH anterior pituitary Corticotropes lipolysis and steroidogenesis,
stimulates melanocytes to produce melanin
Luteinizing hormone LH anterior pituitary gonadotropes LHR → cAMP In female: ovulation

In male: stimulates Leydig cell production of testosterone

Melanocyte stimulating hormone MSH or α-MSH anterior pituitary/pars intermedia Melanotroph melanocortin receptor → cAMP melanogenesis by melanocytes in skin and hair
Motilin MLN Small intestine Motilin receptor stimulates gastric activity
Orexin hypothalamus OX1, OX2 wakefulness and increased energy expenditure, increased appetite
Osteocalcin OCN Skeleton Osteoblasts Gprc6a Muscle Brain Pancreas Testes Favors muscle function, memory formation, testosterone synthesis and energy expenditure[1]
Oxytocin OXT posterior pituitary Magnocellular neurosecretory cells OXT receptor → IP3 release breast milk

Stimulates contraction of cervix and vagina. Involved in orgasm, trust between people,[2] and circadian homeostasis (body temperature, activity level, wakefulness).[3]

Pancreatic polypeptide Pancreas PP cells pancreatic polypeptide receptor 1 Self-regulation of pancreatic secretions (endocrine and exocrine). It also affects hepatic glycogen levels and gastrointestinal secretions.
Parathyroid hormone PTH parathyroid gland parathyroid chief cell PTH receptor → cAMP increase blood Ca2+:

(Slightly) decrease blood phosphate:

  • (decreased reuptake in kidney but increased uptake from bones
  • activate vitamin D)
Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide PACAP multiple ADCYAP1R1, VIPR1, VIPR2 Stimulates enterochromaffin-like cells
Prolactin PRL anterior pituitary, uterus lactotrophs of anterior pituitary
Decidual cells of uterus
PRL receptor milk production in mammary glands
sexual gratification after sexual acts
Prolactin releasing hormone PRH hypothalamus Release prolactin from anterior pituitary
Relaxin RLN Corpus luteum, Uterus, placenta, and Mammary gland Decidual cells RLN receptor Unclear in humans
Renin Kidney Juxtaglomerular cells Activates the renin–angiotensin system by producing angiotensin I of angiotensinogen
Secretin SCT duodenum S cell SCT receptor Secretion of bicarbonate from liver, pancreas and duodenal Brunner's glands

Enhances effects of cholecystokinin Stops production of gastric juice

Somatostatin SRIF hypothalamus, islets of Langerhans, gastrointestinal system delta cells in islets
Neuroendocrince cells of the Periventricular nucleus in hypothalamus
Somatostatin receptor Inhibit 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[4]
Inhibit release of insulin from beta cells[5]
Inhibit release of glucagon from alpha cells[5]
Suppress the exocrine secretory action of pancreas.

Thrombopoietin TPO liver, kidney, striated muscle Myocytes TPO receptor megakaryocytes produce platelets[6]
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (or thyrotropin) TSH anterior pituitary thyrotropes Thyrotropin receptor → cAMP thyroid gland secrete thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3)
Thyrotropin-releasing hormone TRH hypothalamus Parvocellular neurosecretory neurons TRHR → IP3 anterior pituitary Release thyroid-stimulating hormone (primarily)
Stimulate prolactin release
Vasoactive intestinal peptide VIP gut, pancreas, and suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus Vasoactive intestinal peptide receptor stimulates contractility in the heart, causes vasodilation, increases glycogenolysis, lowers arterial blood pressure and relaxes the smooth muscle of trachea, stomach and gall bladder
Guanylin GN gut guanylate cyclase 2C (heat stable enterotoxin receptor) regulates electrolyte and water transport in intestinal epithelia.
Uroguanylin UGN renal tissues guanylate cyclase 2C (heat stable enterotoxin receptor) regulates electrolyte and water transport in renal epithelia.


Chemical class Name Abbreviation Tissue Cells Receptor Target Tissue Effect
androgen Testosterone testes, ovary Leydig cells AR libido, 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.

androgen Dehydroepiandrosterone DHEA testes, ovary, kidney Zona fasciculata and Zona reticularis cells of kidney
theca cells of ovary
Leydig cells of testes
AR Virilization, anabolic
androgen Androstenedione adrenal glands, gonads AR Substrate for estrogen
androgen Dihydrotestosterone DHT multiple AR 5-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 produce the physiological effects.
mineralocorticoid Aldosterone adrenal cortex (zona glomerulosa) MR Increase blood volume by reabsorption of sodium in kidneys (primarily)

Potassium and H+ secretion in kidney.

estrogen Estradiol E2 females: ovary, males testes females: granulosa cells, males: Sertoli cell ER Females:



Fluid balance:

Gastrointestinal tract:

  • reduce bowel motility
  • increase cholesterol in bile

Lung function:

Males: Prevent apoptosis of germ cells[8]

estrogen Estrone ovary granulosa cells, Adipocytes ER
estrogen Estriol E3 placenta syncytiotrophoblast ER
glucocorticoid Cortisol adrenal cortex (zona fasciculata and zona reticularis cells) GR Stimulation 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

progestogen Progesterone ovary, adrenal glands, placenta (when pregnant) Granulosa cells theca cells of ovary PR Support pregnancy:[9]


secosteroid Calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3) skin/proximal tubule of kidneys VDR Active form of vitamin D3

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

secosteroid Calcidiol (25-hydroxyvitamin D3) skin/proximal tubule of kidneys VDR Inactive form of vitamin D3


  1. ^ Karsenty G, Olson EN (March 2016). "Bone and Muscle Endocrine Functions: Unexpected Paradigms of Inter-organ Communication". Cell. 164 (6): 1248–1256. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2016.02.043. PMC 4797632. PMID 26967290.
  2. ^ Kosfeld M, Heinrichs M, Zak PJ, Fischbacher U, Fehr E (June 2005). "Oxytocin increases trust in humans". Nature. 435 (7042): 673–6. Bibcode:2005Natur.435..673K. doi:10.1038/nature03701. PMID 15931222.
  3. ^ Scientific American Mind, "Rhythm and Blues"; June/July 2007; Scientific American Mind; by Ulrich Kraft
  4. ^ Colorado State University - Biomedical Hypertextbooks - Somatostatin
  5. ^ a b Nosek, Thomas M. Essentials of Human Physiology. Section 5/5ch4/s5ch4_17
  6. ^ Kaushansky K (May 2006). "Lineage-specific hematopoietic growth factors". The New England Journal of Medicine. 354 (19): 2034–45. doi:10.1056/NEJMra052706. PMID 16687716.
  7. ^ Massaro D, Massaro GD (December 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 (May 2000). "Estradiol acts as a germ cell survival factor in the human testis in vitro". The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 85 (5): 2057–67. doi:10.1210/jcem.85.5.6600. PMID 10843196.
  9. ^ a b Placental Hormones
  10. ^ Nosek, Thomas M. Essentials of Human Physiology. Section 5/5ch9/s5ch9_13
  11. ^ Hould FS, Fried GM, Fazekas AG, Tremblay S, Mersereau WA (December 1988). "Progesterone receptors regulate gallbladder motility". The Journal of Surgical Research. 45 (6): 505–12. doi:10.1016/0022-4804(88)90137-0. PMID 3184927.