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Mechanism of Hormone Action

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Secretion, Mechanism of Action, and Functions of Hormones

The endocrine system is a complex system of organs that work together to release any chemical messengers located inside our body called hormones. The endocrine system works in coordination with the nervous system to regulate different body functions such as metabolism, growth, and reproduction hormones secreted by endocrine glands that together make up the endocrine system. 

The endocrine glands are also called ductless glands because they do not have any ducts and therefore their secretions are called hormones in the bloodstream vessels, through which they reach the organs the hormones flow inside the bloodstream. Blood carries hormones to the needed sites where they carry the further process.

Types of Hormones

To regulate various functions, different types of hormones are produced in the body. They are classified as follows:

  • Peptide Hormones

  • Steroid Hormones

  • Peptide Hormones

What Is The Mechanism of Hormone Action?

A hormone is a chemical messenger secreted to enable communication between cells and tissues throughout the body. They flow through the bloodline. The mechanism of hormone action begins at the endocrine system. A hormone action regulates various other systems including the excretory and reproductive systems. 

Hormone action activities exit their respective cells of origin by the means of membrane transport. Hormones are chemical messengers of the human body that affect different tissues of the human body. The site of the hormone action is usually far away from its site of origin. In the human body, there are numerous hormones performing various functions for different purposes.

What Is The Mechanism of Peptide Hormone Action?

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Peptide hormones find their functional value in the plasma membrane of different target cells. The hormone action of peptide hormones is the so-called second messenger function that takes place within the cell.  The mechanism of peptide hormone action leads to the generation of secondary messenger hormones. These secondary messengers are also similar to hormones that are chemical messengers. The structure of the cell surface receptors has three underlying domains that form an integral part of the membrane structure of the proteins. The three structural domains are namely:

  • Extracellular domain

  • Transmembrane domain

  • Intracellular domain

Except for the receptors of the thyroid hormone, all other amino acid receptors and peptide hormones are located in the plasma membrane. At the target cells, the hormones undergo various unique biological activities. 

Hormonal Imbalance in the Human Body

Hormonal imbalance in the human body is caused due to several health conditions. Some major diseases caused by hormonal dis functionalities are diabetes, thyroid disorders, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and various other menstrual syndromes. Ovarian tumors and ovarian cysts are common conditions caused as a result of excess Androgen in the human body.

Endocrine Glands and the Hormones Secretion

As stated before, hormones are released by the endocrine glands. These are very different from other glands of the human body.

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The Different Hormones Performing Different Functions are as follows:

  • Thyroid: Heartbeat regulation and maintains calorie intake.

  • Pancreas: produces insulin and regulates blood sugar level.

  • Ovaries: The ovaries secrete sex hormones that are essential for reproductive cycles. Pituitary Gland: The pituitary gland is the major hormone-releasing organ of the body. The gland releases all of the major hormones of the human body.

  • Adrenal Gland: The adrenal gland releases stress hormones. There are two mechanisms of hormone action that are required for the proper functioning of the human body.

Feedback Mechanism – Thyroid

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The thyroid gland produces a hormone called thyroxine. When the level of thyroxine in the blood reduces, the hypothalamus stimulates thyroxine secretion by stimulating TSH secretion. This represents a positive feedback mechanism.

If the hypothalamus continues to produce thyroxine, blood levels of thyroxine can increase. This sends negative feedback to the hypothalamus.  Hormones are aimed at specific functions of the target tissue. It will be eliminated when you arrive at your destination. 

Solved Examples

  1. Explain the Two Mechanisms of Hormone Action in The Human Body. 

The two mechanisms of hormone action in the human body are broadly divided into two groups:

  • Mobile receptor mechanism

  • Fixed membrane mechanism

  • Mobile Receptor Mechanism: In this form of hormone action the steroids and fatty acids can pass through the lipid membranes easily. The hormones bind to the target receptor and enzymatic activates.

  • Fixed Membrane Mechanism: In the fixed membrane mechanism the hormones can’t pass through the lipid membranes. This type of mechanism is generally shown by water-soluble hormones such as amines or proteins. 

  1. What are The Features of Hormones? 

Hormones are the chemical messengers of the human body. Different hormones have different effects on the functioning of the human body. The hormones help in the growth, metabolism, development, reproduction, and secretion of fluids. The mechanism of hormone action will start at a certain time and keep working over a continuous period of time. A few important hormones of the human body are Insulin, thyroid hormones, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and serotonin.

Functions of Hormones

Following are some important functions of hormones:

  1. Food metabolism.

  2. Growth and development.

  3. Controlling thirst and hunger.

  4. Maintaining body temperature.

  5. Regulating mood and cognitive functions.

  6. Initiating and maintaining sexual development and reproduction

Fun Facts About The Hormone Action In The Human Body

  • Although estrogen is a female or one and testosterone is a male hormone, both male and female bodies need these two hormones.

  • The hormone action in the human body performs the following functions. Progesterone helps maintain body balance.

  • Our memory, learning, and motor control activities need testosterone and estrogen.

  • Women become hormonal during their menstrual cycle as the rate of secretion of progesterone increases during a very short span.

  • Oxytocin is an essential hormone and is important during childbirth.


This is all about hormones, their sources - endocrine glands, and their functions. Learn how these biochemical compounds hold their importance in human physiological functions. Concentrate on how the hormones act on the different organs and tissues of a human body to promote another function.

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FAQs on Mechanism of Hormone Action

1. What are important hormones present in the human body?

List of Important Hormones:

  • Cortisol: It has been named the ‘stress hormone’ as it helps the body in responding to stress.

  • Estrogen: This is the main sex hormone in women that induces puberty.

  • Melatonin: controls sleep cycles. 

  • Progesterone: A female hormone that is also involved in the menstrual cycle.

  • Testosterone: This is the main sex hormone synthesized in men during puberty.

  • This develops muscle growth, strengthens bones and muscles, and controls facial hair growth among men.

2. Name 3 diseases caused by hormonal imbalance. Can we balance them naturally?

Diabetes, Osteoporosis, Hyperthyroidism, etc are caused by hormonal imbalance.

But by following certain steps, we can balance them.

 Natural Ways to Balance Your Hormones

  • Eat enough protein at every meal. Consuming an adequate amount of protein is extremely important.  

  • Engage in regular exercise.  

  • Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates.  

  • Learn to manage stress.  

  • Consume healthy fats. 

  • Avoid Overeating and Undereating.  

  • Drink Green Tea.  

  • Eat Fatty Fish Often.

3. What are hormones made of? Can we balance our hormones by taking medicines?

Hormones are made of either proteins or steroids.

Not all hormones can be balanced by taking pills but fewer hormones for females can be done to an extent. But this process has a lot of side effects as the process is not natural. Hormonal imbalance leads to irregular menstrual cycles, mood swings, and depression among women. They also start getting complex feelings as their skin undergoes changes. Rather than depending on pills, it is better for them to relax and meditate during this period.

4. Does aging affect the level of hormones?

Hormones are also broken down (metabolized) more slowly. As age starts increasing the fluctuation among the hormones is a very common thing. Not only the endocrine system but the other systems in the body also get affected due to the hormonal imbalance. The endocrine system does not produce the same amount of hormones as age increases because of various reasons. 

The reasons might be the stress of work, irregular periods among women, or eating disorders. Leading an unhealthy life or not doing enough exercise leads to imbalance. hormones do get affected as age increases as it is inevitable. Your body undergoes changes both physically and mentally. Hence hormonal imbalance according to age is a very common issue.

5. Do Plants and Animals also have hormones? How are they different from each other?

Both plants and animals have hormones but plants do not have any special parts to produce those hormones. Apart from this, animals have separate parts to produce hormones that control the entire system. Some hormones of both plants and animals can be generated in the laboratory in a natural way. Most of the hormones that we consume in our food are digested and do not interact with receptors in our bodies.

6. What is Insulin and its Function?

The Insulin hormone is produced in the pancreas. In this hormone action, the sugar from the carbohydrates that we intake is stored for energy in the future. The blood sugar level in your body is kept minimum or under control because of insulin. People with diabetes can not generate sufficient insulin. 

Therefore they need to be given insulin injections regularly to keep their blood sugar levels checked. Both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes patients need shots of insulin. The various types of insulin treating diabetes are rapid-acting insulin, short-acting insulin, long-action insulin, and more.

7. Explain the Hormones as regulators and messengers.

The basic mechanism of the hormone action in the human body involves regulation and sending messages. A hormone action helps to maintain the internal environment of the body. Hormone regulation can be of two types: positive feedback control and negative feedback control. Examples of positive feedback control are blood clotting and the menstrual cycle. In the negative feedback control, the temperature and blood sugar regulation is maintained. It has already been discussed previously that hormones are the chemical messengers of the body. The neurohormones stimulate the pituitary glands to release various hormones which then carry information to their respective functioning sites.  The neurohormones are also known as releasing factors of hormones.

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