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What is the difference between a tropic and nontropic hormone?

Tropic hormones stimulate other endocrine glands, while nontropic hormones act directly on target cells.

Tropic hormones are hormones that stimulate the secretion of other hormones by endocrine glands. They are produced by the anterior pituitary gland and include follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). These hormones regulate the activity of other endocrine glands, such as the ovaries, testes, adrenal glands, and thyroid gland. For example, FSH and LH stimulate the production of estrogen and testosterone in the ovaries and testes, respectively. For more detailed information on the endocrine system, you can refer to The Endocrine System.

In contrast, nontropic hormones act directly on target cells without stimulating the secretion of other hormones. Examples of nontropic hormones include insulin, glucagon, and growth hormone. Insulin and glucagon are produced by the pancreas and regulate blood glucose levels by acting on liver and muscle cells. Growth hormone is produced by the anterior pituitary gland and stimulates growth and cell division in many tissues. To understand more about hormonal control mechanisms, visit Hormonal Control.

The main difference between tropic and nontropic hormones is that tropic hormones regulate the activity of other endocrine glands, while nontropic hormones act directly on target cells. This difference is important because it determines how hormones interact with each other and how they affect the body. For an overview of different hormones and their functions, check out Hormones and Their Functions. Understanding the functions of tropic and nontropic hormones is essential for understanding the endocrine system and its role in maintaining homeostasis.


A-Level Biology Tutor Summary: Tropic hormones, like FSH and LH, stimulate other endocrine glands to produce hormones, influencing organs such as ovaries and adrenal glands. Nontropic hormones, such as insulin and growth hormone, directly affect target cells, like muscle or liver cells, without promoting other hormones. This distinction is crucial for understanding how different hormones regulate the body's functions.

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