Endocrine Glands


The gonads—the male testes and female ovaries—produce steroid hormones. The testes produce androgens, testosterone being the most prominent, which allow for the development of secondary sex characteristics and the production of sperm cells. The ovaries produce estradiol and progesterone, which cause secondary sex characteristics and prepare the body for childbirth.

Endocrine Glands and their Associated Hormones
Endocrine Gland Associated Hormones Effect
Hypothalamus releasing and inhibiting hormones regulate hormone release from pituitary gland; produce oxytocin; produce uterine contractions and milk secretion in females
antidiuretic hormone (ADH) water reabsorption from kidneys; vasoconstriction to increase blood pressure
Pituitary (Anterior) growth hormone (GH) promotes growth of body tissues, protein synthesis; metabolic functions
prolactin (PRL) promotes milk production
thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) stimulates thyroid hormone release
adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulates hormone release by adrenal cortex, glucocorticoids
follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) stimulates gamete production (both ova and sperm); secretion of estradiol
luteinizing hormone (LH) stimulates androgen production by gonads; ovulation, secretion of progesterone
melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) stimulates melanocytes of the skin increasing melanin pigment production.
Pituitary (Posterior) antidiuretic hormone (ADH) stimulates water reabsorption by kidneys
oxytocin stimulates uterine contractions during childbirth; milk ejection; stimulates ductus deferens and prostate gland contraction during emission
Thyroid thyroxine, triiodothyronine stimulate and maintain metabolism; growth and development
calcitonin reduces blood Ca2+ levels
Parathyroid parathyroid hormone (PTH) increases blood Ca2+ levels
Adrenal (Cortex) aldosterone increases blood Na+ levels; increases K+ secretion
cortisol, corticosterone, cortisone increase blood glucose levels; anti-inflammatory effects
Adrenal (Medulla) epinephrine, norepinephrine stimulate fight-or-flight response; increase blood gluclose levels; increase metabolic activities
Pancreas insulin reduces blood glucose levels
glucagon increases blood glucose levels
Pineal gland melatonin regulates some biological rhythms and protects CNS from free radicals
Testes androgens regulate, promote, increase or maintain sperm production; male secondary sexual characteristics
Ovaries estrogen promotes uterine lining growth; female secondary sexual characteristics
progestins promote and maintain uterine lining growth