Medical Definition of Hormone, thyrotropin

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Hormone, thyrotropin: A hormone produced by the pituitary gland at the base of the brain in response to signals from the hypothalamus gland in the brain.

The suffix -tropin indicates "an affinity for". Thyrotropin has an affinity for the thyroid. Thyrotropin is known also as thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).

Thyrotropin (or, if you prefer, TSH) promotes the growth of the thyroid gland in the neck and stimulates it to produce more thyroid hormones. When there is an excessive amount of thyroid hormones, the pituitary gland stops producing TSH, reducing thyroid hormone production. This mechanism maintains a relatively constant level of thyroid hormones circulating in the blood.

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Reviewed on 12/12/2018

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