A hormone is a chemical messenger produced by a ductless gland which has its action at a distant target cell via a specific receptor.

  • Lipid hormones, divided into:
    • Steroids
      Steroids are synthesised from cholesterol, and are released as they are produced (they are not stored). They are highly lipid soluble and act on cytoplasmic and intra-nucleic receptors.
      • Aldosterone
      • Testosterone
      • Oestrogen
      • Cortisol
    • Eicosanoids
      Eicosanoids are formed from cell membrane phospholipid.
      • Prostaglandins
      • Thromboxanes
      • Leukotrienes
  • Peptide hormones
    Peptide hormones are store in granules and released by exocytosis. They are divided into:
    • Short-chain
    • Long-chain
      • GH
      • Prolactin
    • Glycopeptides
      Proteins with carbohydrate groups.
  • Monoamine derivatives
    Derived from a single amino acid.
    • Catecholamines
      Stored in granules and act at membrane receptors.
      • Adrenaline
      • Noradrenaline
    • Serotonin
    • Thyroxine


  1. Chambers D, Huang C, Matthews G. Basic Physiology for Anaesthetists. Cambridge University Press. 2015.
Last updated 2017-09-17

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