A hormone (from Greek ὁρμή, "impetus") is a chemical released by a cell or a gland in one part of the body that sends out messages that affect cells in other parts of the organism. Only a little amount of hormone is required to alter cell metabolism. In essence, it is a chemical messenger that transports a signal from one cell to another. All multicellular organisms produce hormones; plant hormones are also called phytohormones. Hormones in animals are often transported in the blood. Cells respond to a hormone when they express a specific receptor for that hormone. The hormone binds to the receptor protein, resulting in the activation of a signal transduction mechanism that ultimately leads to cell type-specific responses.
Endocrine hormone molecules are secreted (released) directly into the bloodstream, or simply diffuse through the interstitial spaces to nearby target tissues (paracrine signalling)
A variety of exogenous chemical compounds, both natural and synthetic, have hormone-like effects on both humans and wildlife. Their interference with the synthesis, secretion, transport, binding, action, or elimination of natural hormones in the body can change the homeostasis, reproduction, development, and/or behavior, just as endogenously produced hormones do.
Famous quotes containing the words intestinal and/or hormones:
“Dont think of yourself as an intestinal tract and tangle of nerves in the skull, that will not work unless you drink coffee. Think of yourself as incandescent power, illuminated perhaps and forever talked to by God and his messengers.... Think if Tiffanys made a mosquito, how wonderful we would think it was!”
—Brenda Ueland (18911985)
“Teenage boys, goaded by their surging hormones ... run in packs like the primal horde. They have only a brief season of exhilarating liberty between control by their mothers and control by their wives.”
—Camille Paglia (b. 1947)