The anterior lobe of your pituitary gland is made up of several different types of cells that produce and release different types of hormones, including:

  • Growth hormone. Growth hormone regulates growth and physical development. It can stimulate growth in almost all of your tissues. Its primary targets are bones and muscles.
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone. This hormone activates your thyroid to release thyroid hormones. Your thyroid gland and the hormones it produces are crucial for metabolism.
  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone. This hormone stimulates your adrenal glands to produce cortisol and other hormones.
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone. Follicle-stimulating hormone is involved with estrogen secretion and the growth of egg cells in women. It’s also important for sperm cell production in men.
  • Luteinizing hormone. Luteinizing hormone is involved in the production of estrogen in women and testosterone in men.
  • Prolactin. Prolactin helps women who are breastfeeding produce milk.
  • Beta-melanocyte-stimulating hormone. This hormone helps to stimulate increased pigmentation of your skin in response to exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

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