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Saturday 11 March 2006

Definition: Hormones are produced in the endocrine glands, where they are excreted into the bloodstream. They perform a wide range of roles in the various organs including the regulation of metabolic pathways and the regulation of membrane transport processes.

Hormones may be grouped into three structural classes:

- The steroids are one class of such hormones. They perform a variety of functions, but they are all made from cholesterol.
- Simple amines or amino acids.
- peptides or proteins.


Regulated secretion of hormones occurs when a cell receives an external stimulus, triggering the secretory granules to undergo fusion with the plasma membrane and release their content into the extracellular milieu.

The formation of a mature secretory granule (MSG) involves a series of discrete and unique events such as protein sorting, formation of immature secretory granules (ISGs), prohormone processing and vesicle fusion.

See also

- endocrine system

  • endocrine glands

- endocrine pathology