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Secretion - Pituitary Lobe/Source, (Designation), Main Targets: Primary Actions

Antidiuretic hormone

Posterior, ADH, Kidneys: Induces water conservation as required during control of extracellular fluid volume and solute concentrations


Posterior, OCT, Mammary glands: Induces milk movement into secretory ducts, Uterus: Induces uterine contractions


Anterior, ACTH, Adrenal cortex: Stimulates release of cortisol, an adrenal steroid hormone


Anterior, TSH, Thyroid gland: Stimulates release of thyroid hormones

Follicle-stimulating hormone

Anterior, FSH, Ovaries, testes: In females, stimulates estrogen secretion, egg maturation; in males, helps stimulate sperm formation

Luteinizing hormone

Anterior, LH, Ovaries, testes: In females, stimulates progesterone secretion, ovulation, corpus luteum formation; in males, stimulates testosterone secretion; sperm release


Anterior, PRL, Mammary glands: Stimulates and sustains milk production

Somatotropin (or growth hormone)

Anterior, STH (GH), Most cells: Promotes growth in young; induces protein synthesis, cell division; roles in glucose, protein metabolism in adults

Melanocyte-stimulating hormone

Intermediate, MSH, Pigmented cells in skin and other integuments: Induces color changes in response to external stimuli; affects some behaviors

Glucocorticoids (including cortisol)

Adrenal Cortex, Most cells: Promote protein breakdown and conversion to glucose

Mineralocorticoids (including aldosterone)

Adrenal Cortex, Kidney: Promote sodium reabsorption (sodium conservation); help control the body's salt-water balance

Epinephrine (adrenaline)

Adrenal Medulla, Liver, muscle, adipose tissue: Raises blood level of sugar, fatty acids; increases heart rate and force of contraction


Adrenal Medulla, Smooth muscles of blood vessels: Promotes constriction or dilation of certain blood vessels; thus helps control the flow of blood volume to different body regions

Triiodothyronine, thyroxine

Thyroid, Most cells: Regulate metabolism; have roles in growth, development


Thyroid, Bone: Lowers calcium level in blood

Parathyroid hormone

Parathyroids, Bone, kidney: Elevates calcium level in blood

Androgens (including testosterone)

Gonads - Testes (in males), General: Required in sperm formation, development of genitals, maintenance of sexual traits; growth, development


Gonads - Ovaries (in females), General: required for egg maturation and release; preparation of uterine lining for pregnancy and its maintenance in pregnancy; genital development; maintenance of sexual traits; growth, development


Gonads - Ovaries (in females), Uterus, breasts: Prepares, maintains uterine lining fro pregnancy; stimulates development of breast tissues


Pancreatic Islets, Liver, muscle, adipose tissue: lowers sugar level in blood


Pancreatic Islets, Liver: Raises sugar level in blood


Pancreatic Islets, Insulin-secreting cells: Inhibits digestion of nutrients, hence their absorption from gut

Thymosins, etc.

Thymus, Lymphocytes: Have roles in immune responses


Pineal, Gonads (indirectly): Influences daily biorhythms, seasonal sexual activity

Gastrin, secretin, etc.

Stomach, Small Intestine, Stomach, pancreas, gallbladder: Stimulates activities of stomach, panceas, liver, gallbladder required for food digestion, absorption


Liver, Most cells: Stimulate cell growth and development


Kidneys, Bone marrow: Stimulates red blood cell production


Kidneys, Adrenal cortex, arterioles: Helps control secretion of aldosterone (hence sodium reabsorption, and blood pressure)

1,25-hydroxyvitamin D6 (calcitriol)

Kidneys, Bone, gut: Enhances calcium reabsorption from bone and calcium absorption from gut

Atrial natriuretic hormone

Heart, Kidney blood vessels: Increases sodium excretion; lowers blood pressure

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