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Pituitary Hormones: Hormones secreted by the PITUITARY GLAND including those from the anterior lobe (adenohypophysis), the posterior lobe (neurohypophysis), and the ill-defined intermediate lobe. Structurally, they include small peptides, proteins, and glycoproteins. They are under the regulation of neural signals (NEUROTRANSMITTERS) or neuroendocrine signals (HYPOTHALAMIC HORMONES) from the hypothalamus as well as feedback from their targets such as ADRENAL CORTEX HORMONES; ANDROGENS; ESTROGENS.Pituitary Hormones, Anterior: Hormones secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Structurally, they include polypeptide, protein, and glycoprotein molecules.Pituitary Gland: A small, unpaired gland situated in the SELLA TURCICA. It is connected to the HYPOTHALAMUS by a short stalk which is called the INFUNDIBULUM.Pituitary Neoplasms: Neoplasms which arise from or metastasize to the PITUITARY GLAND. The majority of pituitary neoplasms are adenomas, which are divided into non-secreting and secreting forms. Hormone producing forms are further classified by the type of hormone they secrete. Pituitary adenomas may also be characterized by their staining properties (see ADENOMA, BASOPHIL; ADENOMA, ACIDOPHIL; and ADENOMA, CHROMOPHOBE). Pituitary tumors may compress adjacent structures, including the HYPOTHALAMUS, several CRANIAL NERVES, and the OPTIC CHIASM. Chiasmal compression may result in bitemporal HEMIANOPSIA.Pituitary Gland, Anterior: The anterior glandular lobe of the pituitary gland, also known as the adenohypophysis. It secretes the ADENOHYPOPHYSEAL HORMONES that regulate vital functions such as GROWTH; METABOLISM; and REPRODUCTION.Hypopituitarism: Diminution or cessation of secretion of one or more hormones from the anterior pituitary gland (including LH; FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE; SOMATOTROPIN; and CORTICOTROPIN). This may result from surgical or radiation ablation, non-secretory PITUITARY NEOPLASMS, metastatic tumors, infarction, PITUITARY APOPLEXY, infiltrative or granulomatous processes, and other conditions.Prolactin: A lactogenic hormone secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). It is a polypeptide of approximately 23 kD. Besides its major action on lactation, in some species prolactin exerts effects on reproduction, maternal behavior, fat metabolism, immunomodulation and osmoregulation. Prolactin receptors are present in the mammary gland, hypothalamus, liver, ovary, testis, and prostate.Hormones: Chemical substances having a specific regulatory effect on the activity of a certain organ or organs. The term was originally applied to substances secreted by various ENDOCRINE GLANDS and transported in the bloodstream to the target organs. It is sometimes extended to include those substances that are not produced by the endocrine glands but that have similar effects.Luteinizing Hormone: A major gonadotropin secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Luteinizing hormone regulates steroid production by the interstitial cells of the TESTIS and the OVARY. The preovulatory LUTEINIZING HORMONE surge in females induces OVULATION, and subsequent LUTEINIZATION of the follicle. LUTEINIZING HORMONE consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is common in the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity.Pituitary Hormones, Posterior: Hormones released from the neurohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, POSTERIOR). They include a number of peptides which are formed in the NEURONS in the HYPOTHALAMUS, bound to NEUROPHYSINS, and stored in the nerve terminals in the posterior pituitary. Upon stimulation, these peptides are released into the hypophysial portal vessel blood.Pituitary Diseases: Disorders involving either the ADENOHYPOPHYSIS or the NEUROHYPOPHYSIS. These diseases usually manifest as hypersecretion or hyposecretion of PITUITARY HORMONES. Neoplastic pituitary masses can also cause compression of the OPTIC CHIASM and other adjacent structures.Follicle Stimulating Hormone: A major gonadotropin secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Follicle-stimulating hormone stimulates GAMETOGENESIS and the supporting cells such as the ovarian GRANULOSA CELLS, the testicular SERTOLI CELLS, and LEYDIG CELLS. FSH consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is common in the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH, and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity.Adrenocorticotropic Hormone: An anterior pituitary hormone that stimulates the ADRENAL CORTEX and its production of CORTICOSTEROIDS. ACTH is a 39-amino acid polypeptide of which the N-terminal 24-amino acid segment is identical in all species and contains the adrenocorticotrophic activity. Upon further tissue-specific processing, ACTH can yield ALPHA-MSH and corticotrophin-like intermediate lobe peptide (CLIP).Human Growth Hormone: A 191-amino acid polypeptide hormone secreted by the human adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR), also known as GH or somatotropin. Synthetic growth hormone, termed somatropin, has replaced the natural form in therapeutic usage such as treatment of dwarfism in children with growth hormone deficiency.Thyroid Hormones: Natural hormones secreted by the THYROID GLAND, such as THYROXINE, and their synthetic analogs.Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone: A decapeptide that stimulates the synthesis and secretion of both pituitary gonadotropins, LUTEINIZING HORMONE and FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE. GnRH is produced by neurons in the septum PREOPTIC AREA of the HYPOTHALAMUS and released into the pituitary portal blood, leading to stimulation of GONADOTROPHS in the ANTERIOR PITUITARY GLAND.Thyrotropin: A glycoprotein hormone secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Thyrotropin stimulates THYROID GLAND by increasing the iodide transport, synthesis and release of thyroid hormones (THYROXINE and TRIIODOTHYRONINE). Thyrotropin consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is common in the pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH; LUTEINIZING HORMONE and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity.Growth Hormone: A polypeptide that is secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Growth hormone, also known as somatotropin, stimulates mitosis, cell differentiation and cell growth. Species-specific growth hormones have been synthesized.Pituitary Function Tests: Examinations that evaluate functions of the pituitary gland.Hypophysectomy: Surgical removal or destruction of the hypophysis, or pituitary gland. (Dorland, 28th ed)Dwarfism, Pituitary: A form of dwarfism caused by complete or partial GROWTH HORMONE deficiency, resulting from either the lack of GROWTH HORMONE-RELEASING FACTOR from the HYPOTHALAMUS or from the mutations in the growth hormone gene (GH1) in the PITUITARY GLAND. It is also known as Type I pituitary dwarfism. Human hypophysial dwarf is caused by a deficiency of HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE during development.Gonadal Steroid Hormones: Steroid hormones produced by the GONADS. They stimulate reproductive organs, germ cell maturation, and the secondary sex characteristics in the males and the females. The major sex steroid hormones include ESTRADIOL; PROGESTERONE; and TESTOSTERONE.Gonadotropins, Pituitary: Hormones secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR) that stimulate gonadal functions in both males and females. They include FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE that stimulates germ cell maturation (OOGENESIS; SPERMATOGENESIS), and LUTEINIZING HORMONE that stimulates the production of sex steroids (ESTROGENS; PROGESTERONE; ANDROGENS).Pituitary Hormone Release Inhibiting Hormones: Polypeptide hormones produced in the hypothalamus which inhibit the release of pituitary hormones. Used for PHRIH in general or for which there is no specific heading.Adenoma: A benign epithelial tumor with a glandular organization.Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone: A peptide of 44 amino acids in most species that stimulates the release and synthesis of GROWTH HORMONE. GHRF (or GRF) is synthesized by neurons in the ARCUATE NUCLEUS of the HYPOTHALAMUS. After being released into the pituitary portal circulation, GHRF stimulates GH release by the SOMATOTROPHS in the PITUITARY GLAND.Pituitary Gland, Posterior: Neural tissue of the pituitary gland, also known as the neurohypophysis. It consists of the distal AXONS of neurons that produce VASOPRESSIN and OXYTOCIN in the SUPRAOPTIC NUCLEUS and the PARAVENTRICULAR NUCLEUS. These axons travel down through the MEDIAN EMINENCE, the hypothalamic infundibulum of the PITUITARY STALK, to the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland.Parathyroid Hormone: A polypeptide hormone (84 amino acid residues) secreted by the PARATHYROID GLANDS which performs the essential role of maintaining intracellular CALCIUM levels in the body. Parathyroid hormone increases intracellular calcium by promoting the release of CALCIUM from BONE, increases the intestinal absorption of calcium, increases the renal tubular reabsorption of calcium, and increases the renal excretion of phosphates.Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone: A tripeptide that stimulates the release of THYROTROPIN and PROLACTIN. It is synthesized by the neurons in the PARAVENTRICULAR NUCLEUS of the HYPOTHALAMUS. After being released into the pituitary portal circulation, TRH (was called TRF) stimulates the release of TSH and PRL from the ANTERIOR PITUITARY GLAND.Prolactinoma: A pituitary adenoma which secretes PROLACTIN, leading to HYPERPROLACTINEMIA. Clinical manifestations include AMENORRHEA; GALACTORRHEA; IMPOTENCE; HEADACHE; visual disturbances; and CEREBROSPINAL FLUID RHINORRHEA.Pituitary Apoplexy: The sudden loss of blood supply to the PITUITARY GLAND, leading to tissue NECROSIS and loss of function (PANHYPOPITUITARISM). The most common cause is hemorrhage or INFARCTION of a PITUITARY ADENOMA. It can also result from acute hemorrhage into SELLA TURCICA due to HEAD TRAUMA; INTRACRANIAL HYPERTENSION; or other acute effects of central nervous system hemorrhage. Clinical signs include severe HEADACHE; HYPOTENSION; bilateral visual disturbances; UNCONSCIOUSNESS; and COMA.Pituitary Hormone-Releasing Hormones: Peptides, natural or synthetic, that stimulate the release of PITUITARY HORMONES. They were first isolated from the extracts of the HYPOTHALAMUS; MEDIAN EMINENCE; PITUITARY STALK; and NEUROHYPOPHYSIS. In addition, some hypophysiotropic hormones control pituitary cell differentiation, cell proliferation, and hormone synthesis. Some can act on more than one pituitary hormone.Transcription Factor Pit-1: A POU domain factor that regulates expression of GROWTH HORMONE; PROLACTIN; and THYROTROPIN-BETA in the ANTERIOR PITUITARY GLAND.Receptors, Thyroid Hormone: Specific high affinity binding proteins for THYROID HORMONES in target cells. They are usually found in the nucleus and regulate DNA transcription. These receptors are activated by hormones that leads to transcription, cell differentiation, and growth suppression. Thyroid hormone receptors are encoded by two genes (GENES, ERBA): erbA-alpha and erbA-beta for alpha and beta thyroid hormone receptors, respectively.Thyroxine: The major hormone derived from the thyroid gland. Thyroxine is synthesized via the iodination of tyrosines (MONOIODOTYROSINE) and the coupling of iodotyrosines (DIIODOTYROSINE) in the THYROGLOBULIN. Thyroxine is released from thyroglobulin by proteolysis and secreted into the blood. Thyroxine is peripherally deiodinated to form TRIIODOTHYRONINE which exerts a broad spectrum of stimulatory effects on cell metabolism.Follicle Stimulating Hormone, beta Subunit: The beta subunit of follicle stimulating hormone. It is a 15-kDa glycopolypeptide. Full biological activity of FSH requires the non-covalently bound heterodimers of an alpha and a beta subunit. Mutation of the FSHB gene causes delayed puberty, or infertility.Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone: A peptide of about 41 amino acids that stimulates the release of ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE. CRH is synthesized by neurons in the PARAVENTRICULAR NUCLEUS of the HYPOTHALAMUS. After being released into the pituitary portal circulation, CRH stimulates the release of ACTH from the PITUITARY GLAND. CRH can also be synthesized in other tissues, such as PLACENTA; ADRENAL MEDULLA; and TESTIS.Pro-Opiomelanocortin: A 30-kDa protein synthesized primarily in the ANTERIOR PITUITARY GLAND and the HYPOTHALAMUS. It is also found in the skin and other peripheral tissues. Depending on species and tissues, POMC is cleaved by PROHORMONE CONVERTASES yielding various active peptides including ACTH; BETA-LIPOTROPIN; ENDORPHINS; MELANOCYTE-STIMULATING HORMONES; and others (GAMMA-LPH; CORTICOTROPIN-LIKE INTERMEDIATE LOBE PEPTIDE; N-terminal peptide of POMC or NPP).Hydrocortisone: The main glucocorticoid secreted by the ADRENAL CORTEX. Its synthetic counterpart is used, either as an injection or topically, in the treatment of inflammation, allergy, collagen diseases, asthma, adrenocortical deficiency, shock, and some neoplastic conditions.Estradiol: The 17-beta-isomer of estradiol, an aromatized C18 steroid with hydroxyl group at 3-beta- and 17-beta-position. Estradiol-17-beta is the most potent form of mammalian estrogenic steroids.Glycoprotein Hormones, alpha Subunit: The alpha chain of pituitary glycoprotein hormones (THYROTROPIN; FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE; LUTEINIZING HORMONE) and the placental CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN. Within a species, the alpha subunits of these four hormones are identical; the distinct functional characteristics of these glycoprotein hormones are determined by the unique beta subunits. Both subunits, the non-covalently bound heterodimers, are required for full biologic activity.Adenoma, Basophil: A small tumor of the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland whose cells stain with basic dyes. It may give rise to excessive secretion of ACTH, resulting in CUSHING SYNDROME. (Dorland, 27th ed)Hormone Replacement Therapy: Therapeutic use of hormones to alleviate the effects of hormone deficiency.Hypothalamus: Ventral part of the DIENCEPHALON extending from the region of the OPTIC CHIASM to the caudal border of the MAMMILLARY BODIES and forming the inferior and lateral walls of the THIRD VENTRICLE.Testosterone: A potent androgenic steroid and major product secreted by the LEYDIG CELLS of the TESTIS. Its production is stimulated by LUTEINIZING HORMONE from the PITUITARY GLAND. In turn, testosterone exerts feedback control of the pituitary LH and FSH secretion. Depending on the tissues, testosterone can be further converted to DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE or ESTRADIOL.Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System: A collection of NEURONS, tracts of NERVE FIBERS, endocrine tissue, and blood vessels in the HYPOTHALAMUS and the PITUITARY GLAND. This hypothalamo-hypophyseal portal circulation provides the mechanism for hypothalamic neuroendocrine (HYPOTHALAMIC HORMONES) regulation of pituitary function and the release of various PITUITARY HORMONES into the systemic circulation to maintain HOMEOSTASIS.Septo-Optic Dysplasia: A condition resulting from congenital malformations involving the brain. The syndrome of septo-optic dysplasia combines hypoplasia or agenesis of the SEPTUM PELLUCIDUM and the OPTIC NERVE. The extent of the abnormalities can vary. Septo-optic dysplasia is often associated with abnormalities of the hypothalamic and other diencephalic structures, and HYPOPITUITARISM.Hyperprolactinemia: Increased levels of PROLACTIN in the BLOOD, which may be associated with AMENORRHEA and GALACTORRHEA. Relatively common etiologies include PROLACTINOMA, medication effect, KIDNEY FAILURE, granulomatous diseases of the PITUITARY GLAND, and disorders which interfere with the hypothalamic inhibition of prolactin release. Ectopic (non-pituitary) production of prolactin may also occur. (From Joynt, Clinical Neurology, 1992, Ch36, pp77-8)Triiodothyronine: A T3 thyroid hormone normally synthesized and secreted by the thyroid gland in much smaller quantities than thyroxine (T4). Most T3 is derived from peripheral monodeiodination of T4 at the 5' position of the outer ring of the iodothyronine nucleus. The hormone finally delivered and used by the tissues is mainly T3.Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase-Activating Polypeptide: A multi-function neuropeptide that acts throughout the body by elevating intracellular cyclic AMP level via its interaction with PACAP RECEPTORS. Although first isolated from hypothalamic extracts and named for its action on the pituitary, it is widely distributed in the central and peripheral nervous systems. PACAP is important in the control of endocrine and homeostatic processes, such as secretion of pituitary and gut hormones and food intake.Radioimmunoassay: Classic quantitative assay for detection of antigen-antibody reactions using a radioactively labeled substance (radioligand) either directly or indirectly to measure the binding of the unlabeled substance to a specific antibody or other receptor system. Non-immunogenic substances (e.g., haptens) can be measured if coupled to larger carrier proteins (e.g., bovine gamma-globulin or human serum albumin) capable of inducing antibody formation.Hypothyroidism: A syndrome that results from abnormally low secretion of THYROID HORMONES from the THYROID GLAND, leading to a decrease in BASAL METABOLIC RATE. In its most severe form, there is accumulation of MUCOPOLYSACCHARIDES in the SKIN and EDEMA, known as MYXEDEMA.LIM-Homeodomain Proteins: A subclass of LIM domain proteins that include an additional centrally-located homeodomain region that binds AT-rich sites on DNA. Many LIM-homeodomain proteins play a role as transcriptional regulators that direct cell fate.Progesterone: The major progestational steroid that is secreted primarily by the CORPUS LUTEUM and the PLACENTA. Progesterone acts on the UTERUS, the MAMMARY GLANDS and the BRAIN. It is required in EMBRYO IMPLANTATION; PREGNANCY maintenance, and the development of mammary tissue for MILK production. Progesterone, converted from PREGNENOLONE, also serves as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of GONADAL STEROID HORMONES and adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS.Craniopharyngioma: A benign pituitary-region neoplasm that originates from Rathke's pouch. The two major histologic and clinical subtypes are adamantinous (or classical) craniopharyngioma and papillary craniopharyngioma. The adamantinous form presents in children and adolescents as an expanding cystic lesion in the pituitary region. The cystic cavity is filled with a black viscous substance and histologically the tumor is composed of adamantinomatous epithelium and areas of calcification and necrosis. Papillary craniopharyngiomas occur in adults, and histologically feature a squamous epithelium with papillations. (From Joynt, Clinical Neurology, 1998, Ch14, p50)Hypogonadism: Condition resulting from deficient gonadal functions, such as GAMETOGENESIS and the production of GONADAL STEROID HORMONES. It is characterized by delay in GROWTH, germ cell maturation, and development of secondary sex characteristics. Hypogonadism can be due to a deficiency of GONADOTROPINS (hypogonadotropic hypogonadism) or due to primary gonadal failure (hypergonadotropic hypogonadism).RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Receptors, Pituitary Hormone: Cell surface proteins that bind pituitary hormones with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells. Since many pituitary hormones are also released by neurons as neurotransmitters, these receptors are also found in the nervous system.Sella Turcica: A bony prominence situated on the upper surface of the body of the sphenoid bone. It houses the PITUITARY GLAND.Juvenile Hormones: Compounds, either natural or synthetic, which block development of the growing insect.Adrenal Insufficiency: Conditions in which the production of adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS falls below the requirement of the body. Adrenal insufficiency can be caused by defects in the ADRENAL GLANDS, the PITUITARY GLAND, or the HYPOTHALAMUS.Endocrine System Diseases: Pathological processes of the ENDOCRINE GLANDS, and diseases resulting from abnormal level of available HORMONES.Adenoma, Acidophil: A benign tumor, usually found in the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland, whose cells stain with acid dyes. Such pituitary tumors may give rise to excessive secretion of growth hormone, resulting in gigantism or acromegaly. A specific type of acidophil adenoma may give rise to nonpuerperal galactorrhea. (Dorland, 27th ed)Central Nervous System Cysts: Congenital or acquired cysts of the brain, spinal cord, or meninges which may remain stable in size or undergo progressive enlargement.Diabetes Insipidus, Neurogenic: A genetic or acquired polyuric disorder caused by a deficiency of VASOPRESSINS secreted by the NEUROHYPOPHYSIS. Clinical signs include the excretion of large volumes of dilute URINE; HYPERNATREMIA; THIRST; and polydipsia. Etiologies include HEAD TRAUMA; surgeries and diseases involving the HYPOTHALAMUS and the PITUITARY GLAND. This disorder may also be caused by mutations of genes such as ARVP encoding vasopressin and its corresponding neurophysin (NEUROPHYSINS).Ovary: The reproductive organ (GONADS) in female animals. In vertebrates, the ovary contains two functional parts: the OVARIAN FOLLICLE for the production of female germ cells (OOGENESIS); and the endocrine cells (GRANULOSA CELLS; THECA CELLS; and LUTEAL CELLS) for the production of ESTROGENS and PROGESTERONE.Ovariectomy: The surgical removal of one or both ovaries.Hypothalamic Hormones: Peptide hormones produced by NEURONS of various regions in the HYPOTHALAMUS. They are released into the pituitary portal circulation to stimulate or inhibit PITUITARY GLAND functions. VASOPRESSIN and OXYTOCIN, though produced in the hypothalamus, are not included here for they are transported down the AXONS to the POSTERIOR LOBE OF PITUITARY before being released into the portal circulation.Hypothalamic Diseases: Neoplastic, inflammatory, infectious, and other diseases of the hypothalamus. Clinical manifestations include appetite disorders; AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM DISEASES; SLEEP DISORDERS; behavioral symptoms related to dysfunction of the LIMBIC SYSTEM; and neuroendocrine disorders.Estrogens: Compounds that interact with ESTROGEN RECEPTORS in target tissues to bring about the effects similar to those of ESTRADIOL. Estrogens stimulate the female reproductive organs, and the development of secondary female SEX CHARACTERISTICS. Estrogenic chemicals include natural, synthetic, steroidal, or non-steroidal compounds.Peptide Hormones: Hormones synthesized from amino acids. They are distinguished from INTERCELLULAR SIGNALING PEPTIDES AND PROTEINS in that their actions are systemic.Receptors, LHRH: Receptors with a 6-kDa protein on the surfaces of cells that secrete LUTEINIZING HORMONE or FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE, usually in the adenohypophysis. LUTEINIZING HORMONE-RELEASING HORMONE binds to these receptors, is endocytosed with the receptor and, in the cell, triggers the release of LUTEINIZING HORMONE or FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE by the cell. These receptors are also found in rat gonads. INHIBINS prevent the binding of GnRH to its receptors.Insulin-Like Growth Factor I: A well-characterized basic peptide believed to be secreted by the liver and to circulate in the blood. It has growth-regulating, insulin-like, and mitogenic activities. This growth factor has a major, but not absolute, dependence on GROWTH HORMONE. It is believed to be mainly active in adults in contrast to INSULIN-LIKE GROWTH FACTOR II, which is a major fetal growth factor.Somatostatin: A 14-amino acid peptide named for its ability to inhibit pituitary GROWTH HORMONE release, also called somatotropin release-inhibiting factor. It is expressed in the central and peripheral nervous systems, the gut, and other organs. SRIF can also inhibit the release of THYROID-STIMULATING HORMONE; PROLACTIN; INSULIN; and GLUCAGON besides acting as a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator. In a number of species including humans, there is an additional form of somatostatin, SRIF-28 with a 14-amino acid extension at the N-terminal.Rats, Inbred Strains: Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. This also includes animals with a long history of closed colony breeding.Receptors, Prolactin: Labile proteins on or in prolactin-sensitive cells that bind prolactin initiating the cells' physiological response to that hormone. Mammary casein synthesis is one of the responses. The receptors are also found in placenta, liver, testes, kidneys, ovaries, and other organs and bind and respond to certain other hormones and their analogs and antagonists. This receptor is related to the growth hormone receptor.Gonadal Hormones: Hormones produced by the GONADS, including both steroid and peptide hormones. The major steroid hormones include ESTRADIOL and PROGESTERONE from the OVARY, and TESTOSTERONE from the TESTIS. The major peptide hormones include ACTIVINS and INHIBINS.Ether: A mobile, very volatile, highly flammable liquid used as an inhalation anesthetic and as a solvent for waxes, fats, oils, perfumes, alkaloids, and gums. It is mildly irritating to skin and mucous membranes.Growth Hormone-Secreting Pituitary Adenoma: A pituitary tumor that secretes GROWTH HORMONE. In humans, excess HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE leads to ACROMEGALY.Dwarfism: A genetic or pathological condition that is characterized by short stature and undersize. Abnormal skeletal growth usually results in an adult who is significantly below the average height.Sexual Maturation: Achievement of full sexual capacity in animals and in humans.Thyroid Gland: A highly vascularized endocrine gland consisting of two lobes joined by a thin band of tissue with one lobe on each side of the TRACHEA. It secretes THYROID HORMONES from the follicular cells and CALCITONIN from the parafollicular cells thereby regulating METABOLISM and CALCIUM level in blood, respectively.Pituitary ACTH Hypersecretion: A disease of the PITUITARY GLAND characterized by the excess amount of ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE secreted. This leads to hypersecretion of cortisol (HYDROCORTISONE) by the ADRENAL GLANDS resulting in CUSHING SYNDROME.Thyroid Hormone Receptors beta: High affinity receptors for THYROID HORMONES, especially TRIIODOTHYRONINE. These receptors are usually found in the nucleus where they regulate DNA transcription. They are encoded by the THRB gene (also known as NR1A2, THRB1, or ERBA2 gene) as several isoforms produced by alternative splicing. Mutations in the THRB gene cause THYROID HORMONE RESISTANCE SYNDROME.Diagnostic Techniques, Endocrine: Methods and procedures for the diagnosis of diseases or dysfunction of the endocrine glands or demonstration of their physiological processes.Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormones: Peptides with the ability to stimulate pigmented cells MELANOCYTES in mammals and MELANOPHORES in lower vertebrates. By stimulating the synthesis and distribution of MELANIN in these pigmented cells, they increase coloration of skin and other tissue. MSHs, derived from pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), are produced by MELANOTROPHS in the INTERMEDIATE LOBE OF PITUITARY; CORTICOTROPHS in the ANTERIOR LOBE OF PITUITARY, and the hypothalamic neurons in the ARCUATE NUCLEUS OF HYPOTHALAMUS.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Neurosecretory Systems: A system of NEURONS that has the specialized function to produce and secrete HORMONES, and that constitutes, in whole or in part, an ENDOCRINE SYSTEM or organ.Anti-Mullerian Hormone: A glycoprotein that causes regression of MULLERIAN DUCTS. It is produced by SERTOLI CELLS of the TESTES. In the absence of this hormone, the Mullerian ducts develop into structures of the female reproductive tract. In males, defects of this hormone result in persistent Mullerian duct, a form of MALE PSEUDOHERMAPHRODITISM.ACTH-Secreting Pituitary Adenoma: A pituitary adenoma which secretes ADRENOCORTICOTROPIN, leading to CUSHING DISEASE.Chorionic Gonadotropin: A gonadotropic glycoprotein hormone produced primarily by the PLACENTA. Similar to the pituitary LUTEINIZING HORMONE in structure and function, chorionic gonadotropin is involved in maintaining the CORPUS LUTEUM during pregnancy. CG consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is virtually identical to the alpha subunits of the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH, and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity (CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN, BETA SUBUNIT, HUMAN).Neuropeptides: Peptides released by NEURONS as intercellular messengers. Many neuropeptides are also hormones released by non-neuronal cells.Pregnancy: The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Receptors, Pituitary Hormone-Regulating Hormone: Cell surface receptors that bind the hypothalamic hormones regulating pituitary cell differentiation, proliferation, and hormone synthesis and release, including the pituitary-releasing and release-inhibiting hormones. The pituitary hormone-regulating hormones are also released by cells other than hypothalamic neurons, and their receptors also occur on non-pituitary cells, especially brain neurons, where their role is less well understood. Receptors for dopamine, which is a prolactin release-inhibiting hormone as well as a common neurotransmitter, are not included here.Growth Disorders: Deviations from the average values for a specific age and sex in any or all of the following: height, weight, skeletal proportions, osseous development, or maturation of features. Included here are both acceleration and retardation of growth.Chromogranins: A group of acidic proteins that are major components of SECRETORY GRANULES in the endocrine and neuroendocrine cells. They play important roles in the aggregation, packaging, sorting, and processing of secretory protein prior to secretion. They are cleaved to release biologically active peptides. There are various types of granins, usually classified by their sources.Hormone Antagonists: Chemical substances which inhibit the function of the endocrine glands, the biosynthesis of their secreted hormones, or the action of hormones upon their specific sites.Luteinizing Hormone, beta Subunit: The beta subunit of luteinizing hormone. It is a 15-kDa glycopolypeptide with structure similar to the beta subunit of the placental chorionic gonadatropin (CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN, BETA SUBUNIT, HUMAN) except for the additional 31 amino acids at the C-terminal of CG-beta. Full biological activity of LH requires the non-covalently bound heterodimers of an alpha and a beta subunit. Mutation of the LHB gene causes HYPOGONADISM and infertility.Sheep: Any of the ruminant mammals with curved horns in the genus Ovis, family Bovidae. They possess lachrymal grooves and interdigital glands, which are absent in GOATS.Corticosterone: An adrenocortical steroid that has modest but significant activities as a mineralocorticoid and a glucocorticoid. (From Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 8th ed, p1437)Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Gastrointestinal Hormones: HORMONES secreted by the gastrointestinal mucosa that affect the timing or the quality of secretion of digestive enzymes, and regulate the motor activity of the digestive system organs.Acromegaly: A condition caused by prolonged exposure to excessive HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE in adults. It is characterized by bony enlargement of the FACE; lower jaw (PROGNATHISM); hands; FEET; HEAD; and THORAX. The most common etiology is a GROWTH HORMONE-SECRETING PITUITARY ADENOMA. (From Joynt, Clinical Neurology, 1992, Ch36, pp79-80)Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Gonadotropins: Hormones that stimulate gonadal functions such as GAMETOGENESIS and sex steroid hormone production in the OVARY and the TESTIS. Major gonadotropins are glycoproteins produced primarily by the adenohypophysis (GONADOTROPINS, PITUITARY) and the placenta (CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN). In some species, pituitary PROLACTIN and PLACENTAL LACTOGEN exert some luteotropic activities.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Homeodomain Proteins: Proteins encoded by homeobox genes (GENES, HOMEOBOX) that exhibit structural similarity to certain prokaryotic and eukaryotic DNA-binding proteins. Homeodomain proteins are involved in the control of gene expression during morphogenesis and development (GENE EXPRESSION REGULATION, DEVELOPMENTAL).Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Ovulation: The discharge of an OVUM from a rupturing follicle in the OVARY.Receptors, Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone: Cell surface receptors that bind thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes which influence the behavior of cells. Activated TRH receptors in the anterior pituitary stimulate the release of thyrotropin (thyroid stimulating hormone, TSH); TRH receptors on neurons mediate neurotransmission by TRH.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.Gonadotrophs: Anterior pituitary cells that can produce both FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE and LUTEINIZING HORMONE.Transcription Factors: Endogenous substances, usually proteins, which are effective in the initiation, stimulation, or termination of the genetic transcription process.Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Receptors, Somatotropin: Cell surface proteins that bind GROWTH HORMONE with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells. Activation of growth hormone receptors regulates amino acid transport through cell membranes, RNA translation to protein, DNA transcription, and protein and amino acid catabolism in many cell types. Many of these effects are mediated indirectly through stimulation of the release of somatomedins.Testis: The male gonad containing two functional parts: the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES for the production and transport of male germ cells (SPERMATOGENESIS) and the interstitial compartment containing LEYDIG CELLS that produce ANDROGENS.Adrenal Glands: A pair of glands located at the cranial pole of each of the two KIDNEYS. Each adrenal gland is composed of two distinct endocrine tissues with separate embryonic origins, the ADRENAL CORTEX producing STEROIDS and the ADRENAL MEDULLA producing NEUROTRANSMITTERS.Insulin: A 51-amino acid pancreatic hormone that plays a major role in the regulation of glucose metabolism, directly by suppressing endogenous glucose production (GLYCOGENOLYSIS; GLUCONEOGENESIS) and indirectly by suppressing GLUCAGON secretion and LIPOLYSIS. Native insulin is a globular protein comprised of a zinc-coordinated hexamer. Each insulin monomer containing two chains, A (21 residues) and B (30 residues), linked by two disulfide bonds. Insulin is used as a drug to control insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (DIABETES MELLITUS, TYPE 1).Thyroid Hormone Receptors alpha: High affinity receptors for THYROID HORMONES, especially TRIIODOTHYRONINE. These receptors are usually found in the nucleus where they regulate DNA transcription. They are encoded by the THRA gene (also known as NR1A1, THRA1, ERBA or ERBA1 gene) as several isoforms produced by alternative splicing.Somatotrophs: Anterior pituitary cells which produce GROWTH HORMONE.Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.Insect Hormones: Hormones secreted by insects. They influence their growth and development. Also synthetic substances that act like insect hormones.Dexamethasone: An anti-inflammatory 9-fluoro-glucocorticoid.Adenoma, Chromophobe: A benign tumor of the anterior pituitary in which the cells do not stain with acidic or basic dyes.Invertebrate Hormones: Hormones produced by invertebrates, usually insects, mollusks, annelids, and helminths.Fish Proteins: Proteins obtained from species of fish (FISHES).Placental Hormones: Hormones produced by the placenta include CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN, and PLACENTAL LACTOGEN as well as steroids (ESTROGENS; PROGESTERONE), and neuropeptide hormones similar to those found in the hypothalamus (HYPOTHALAMIC HORMONES).Testicular Hormones: Hormones produced in the testis.Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.Pancreatic Hormones: Peptide hormones secreted into the blood by cells in the ISLETS OF LANGERHANS of the pancreas. The alpha cells secrete glucagon; the beta cells secrete insulin; the delta cells secrete somatostatin; and the PP cells secrete pancreatic polypeptide.Castration: Surgical removal or artificial destruction of gonads.Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.Receptors, Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase-Activating Polypeptide: A family of G-protein-coupled receptors that share significant homology with GLUCAGON RECEPTORS. They bind PITUITARY ADENYLATE CYCLASE ACTIVATING POLYPEPTIDE with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes that influence the behavior of CELLS.Pituitary Irradiation: Radiation therapy used to treat the PITUITARY GLAND.Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Non-invasive method of demonstrating internal anatomy based on the principle that atomic nuclei in a strong magnetic field absorb pulses of radiofrequency energy and emit them as radiowaves which can be reconstructed into computerized images. The concept includes proton spin tomographic techniques.Pituitary Gland, Intermediate: The intermediate lobe of the pituitary gland. It shows considerable size variation among the species, small in humans, and large in amphibians and lower vertebrates. This lobe produces mainly MELANOCYTE-STIMULATING HORMONES and other peptides from post-translational processing of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC).Receptor, Parathyroid Hormone, Type 1: A parathyroid hormone receptor subtype that recognizes both PARATHYROID HORMONE and PARATHYROID HORMONE-RELATED PROTEIN. It is a G-protein-coupled receptor that is expressed at high levels in BONE and in KIDNEY.Mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A variation of the PCR technique in which cDNA is made from RNA via reverse transcription. The resultant cDNA is then amplified using standard PCR protocols.In Situ Hybridization: A technique that localizes specific nucleic acid sequences within intact chromosomes, eukaryotic cells, or bacterial cells through the use of specific nucleic acid-labeled probes.Inhibins: Glycoproteins that inhibit pituitary FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE secretion. Inhibins are secreted by the Sertoli cells of the testes, the granulosa cells of the ovarian follicles, the placenta, and other tissues. Inhibins and ACTIVINS are modulators of FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE secretions; both groups belong to the TGF-beta superfamily, as the TRANSFORMING GROWTH FACTOR BETA. Inhibins consist of a disulfide-linked heterodimer with a unique alpha linked to either a beta A or a beta B subunit to form inhibin A or inhibin B, respectivelyReceptors, Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase-Activating Polypeptide, Type IBody Height: The distance from the sole to the crown of the head with body standing on a flat surface and fully extended.Receptors, Parathyroid Hormone: Cell surface proteins that bind PARATHYROID HORMONE with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes which influence the behavior of cells. Parathyroid hormone receptors on BONE; KIDNEY; and gastrointestinal cells mediate the hormone's role in calcium and phosphate homeostasis.Orchiectomy: The surgical removal of one or both testicles.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.Iodide Peroxidase: A hemeprotein that catalyzes the oxidation of the iodide radical to iodine with the subsequent iodination of many organic compounds, particularly proteins. EC 1.11.1.8.Thyroid Hormone Resistance Syndrome: An inherited autosomal recessive trait, characterized by peripheral resistance to THYROID HORMONES and the resulting elevation in serum levels of THYROXINE and TRIIODOTHYRONINE. This syndrome is caused by mutations of gene THRB encoding the THYROID HORMONE RECEPTORS BETA in target cells. HYPOTHYROIDISM in these patients is partly overcome by the increased thyroid hormone levels.Pituitary-Adrenal System: The interactions between the anterior pituitary and adrenal glands, in which corticotropin (ACTH) stimulates the adrenal cortex and adrenal cortical hormones suppress the production of corticotropin by the anterior pituitary.Receptors, FSH: Cell surface proteins that bind FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells.Steroids: A group of polycyclic compounds closely related biochemically to TERPENES. They include cholesterol, numerous hormones, precursors of certain vitamins, bile acids, alcohols (STEROLS), and certain natural drugs and poisons. Steroids have a common nucleus, a fused, reduced 17-carbon atom ring system, cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene. Most steroids also have two methyl groups and an aliphatic side-chain attached to the nucleus. (From Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, 11th ed)Aging: The gradual irreversible changes in structure and function of an organism that occur as a result of the passage of time.Cyclic AMP: An adenine nucleotide containing one phosphate group which is esterified to both the 3'- and 5'-positions of the sugar moiety. It is a second messenger and a key intracellular regulator, functioning as a mediator of activity for a number of hormones, including epinephrine, glucagon, and ACTH.alpha-MSH: A 13-amino acid peptide derived from proteolytic cleavage of ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE, the N-terminal segment of ACTH. ACTH (1-13) is amidated at the C-terminal to form ACTH (1-13)NH2 which in turn is acetylated to form alpha-MSH in the secretory granules. Alpha-MSH stimulates the synthesis and distribution of MELANIN in MELANOCYTES in mammals and MELANOPHORES in lower vertebrates.Estrus: The period in the ESTROUS CYCLE associated with maximum sexual receptivity and fertility in non-primate female mammals.Organ Size: The measurement of an organ in volume, mass, or heaviness.Thyrotropin, beta Subunit: The beta subunit of thyroid stimulating hormone, thyrotropin. It is a 112-amino acid glycopolypeptide of about 16 kD. Full biological activity of TSH requires the non-covalently bound heterodimers of an alpha and a beta subunit.Kinetics: The rate dynamics in chemical or physical systems.Ghrelin: A 28-amino acid, acylated, orexigenic peptide that is a ligand for GROWTH HORMONE SECRETAGOGUE RECEPTORS. Ghrelin is widely expressed but primarily in the stomach in the adults. Ghrelin acts centrally to stimulate growth hormone secretion and food intake, and peripherally to regulate energy homeostasis. Its large precursor protein, known as appetite-regulating hormone or motilin-related peptide, contains ghrelin and obestatin.Corticotrophs: Anterior pituitary cells that produce ADRENOCORTICOTROPHIC HORMONE.Receptors, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone: Cell surface proteins that bind corticotropin-releasing hormone with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes which influence the behavior of cells. The corticotropin releasing-hormone receptors on anterior pituitary cells mediate the stimulation of corticotropin release by hypothalamic corticotropin releasing factor. The physiological consequence of activating corticotropin-releasing hormone receptors on central neurons is not well understood.Cushing Syndrome: A condition caused by prolonged exposure to excess levels of cortisol (HYDROCORTISONE) or other GLUCOCORTICOIDS from endogenous or exogenous sources. It is characterized by upper body OBESITY; OSTEOPOROSIS; HYPERTENSION; DIABETES MELLITUS; HIRSUTISM; AMENORRHEA; and excess body fluid. Endogenous Cushing syndrome or spontaneous hypercortisolism is divided into two groups, those due to an excess of ADRENOCORTICOTROPIN and those that are ACTH-independent.Hyperthyroidism: Hypersecretion of THYROID HORMONES from the THYROID GLAND. Elevated levels of thyroid hormones increase BASAL METABOLIC RATE.Lactotrophs: Anterior pituitary cells that produce PROLACTIN.Thyrotrophs: Anterior pituitary cells that produce THYROID-STIMULATING HORMONE.Postmenopause: The physiological period following the MENOPAUSE, the permanent cessation of the menstrual life.Progestins: Compounds that interact with PROGESTERONE RECEPTORS in target tissues to bring about the effects similar to those of PROGESTERONE. Primary actions of progestins, including natural and synthetic steroids, are on the UTERUS and the MAMMARY GLAND in preparation for and in maintenance of PREGNANCY.Rats, Wistar: A strain of albino rat developed at the Wistar Institute that has spread widely at other institutions. This has markedly diluted the original strain.Receptors, Neuropeptide: Cell surface receptors that bind specific neuropeptides with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells. Many neuropeptides are also hormones outside of the nervous system.Transcription, Genetic: The biosynthesis of RNA carried out on a template of DNA. The biosynthesis of DNA from an RNA template is called REVERSE TRANSCRIPTION.Buserelin: A potent synthetic analog of GONADOTROPIN-RELEASING HORMONE with D-serine substitution at residue 6, glycine10 deletion, and other modifications.Bromocriptine: A semisynthetic ergotamine alkaloid that is a dopamine D2 agonist. It suppresses prolactin secretion.Calcium: A basic element found in nearly all organized tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol Ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes.beta-Endorphin: A 31-amino acid peptide that is the C-terminal fragment of BETA-LIPOTROPIN. It acts on OPIOID RECEPTORS and is an analgesic. Its first four amino acids at the N-terminal are identical to the tetrapeptide sequence of METHIONINE ENKEPHALIN and LEUCINE ENKEPHALIN.Macrophage Migration-Inhibitory Factors: Proteins released by sensitized LYMPHOCYTES and possibly other cells that inhibit the migration of MACROPHAGES away from the release site. The structure and chemical properties may vary with the species and type of releasing cell.Endorphins: One of the three major groups of endogenous opioid peptides. They are large peptides derived from the PRO-OPIOMELANOCORTIN precursor. The known members of this group are alpha-, beta-, and gamma-endorphin. The term endorphin is also sometimes used to refer to all opioid peptides, but the narrower sense is used here; OPIOID PEPTIDES is used for the broader group.Reproduction: The total process by which organisms produce offspring. (Stedman, 25th ed)Glucagon: A 29-amino acid pancreatic peptide derived from proglucagon which is also the precursor of intestinal GLUCAGON-LIKE PEPTIDES. Glucagon is secreted by PANCREATIC ALPHA CELLS and plays an important role in regulation of BLOOD GLUCOSE concentration, ketone metabolism, and several other biochemical and physiological processes. (From Gilman et al., Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 9th ed, p1511)Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.Androgens: Compounds that interact with ANDROGEN RECEPTORS in target tissues to bring about the effects similar to those of TESTOSTERONE. Depending on the target tissues, androgenic effects can be on SEX DIFFERENTIATION; male reproductive organs, SPERMATOGENESIS; secondary male SEX CHARACTERISTICS; LIBIDO; development of muscle mass, strength, and power.Liver: A large lobed glandular organ in the abdomen of vertebrates that is responsible for detoxification, metabolism, synthesis and storage of various substances.Proestrus: A phase of the ESTROUS CYCLE that precedes ESTRUS. During proestrus, the Graafian follicles undergo maturation.Endocrine Glands: Ductless glands that secrete HORMONES directly into the BLOOD CIRCULATION. These hormones influence the METABOLISM and other functions of cells in the body.Receptors, Cell Surface: Cell surface proteins that bind signalling molecules external to the cell with high affinity and convert this extracellular event into one or more intracellular signals that alter the behavior of the target cell (From Alberts, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2nd ed, pp693-5). Cell surface receptors, unlike enzymes, do not chemically alter their ligands.Menopause: The last menstrual period. Permanent cessation of menses (MENSTRUATION) is usually defined after 6 to 12 months of AMENORRHEA in a woman over 45 years of age. In the United States, menopause generally occurs in women between 48 and 55 years of age.Securin: Securin is involved in the control of the metaphase-anaphase transition during MITOSIS. It promotes the onset of anaphase by blocking SEPARASE function and preventing proteolysis of cohesin and separation of sister CHROMATIDS. Overexpression of securin is associated with NEOPLASTIC CELL TRANSFORMATION and tumor formation.Placental Lactogen: A polypeptide hormone of approximately 25 kDa that is produced by the SYNCYTIOTROPHOBLASTS of the PLACENTA, also known as chorionic somatomammotropin. It has both GROWTH HORMONE and PROLACTIN activities on growth, lactation, and luteal steroid production. In women, placental lactogen secretion begins soon after implantation and increases to 1 g or more a day in late pregnancy. Placental lactogen is also an insulin antagonist.Sphenoid Bone: An irregular unpaired bone situated at the SKULL BASE and wedged between the frontal, temporal, and occipital bones (FRONTAL BONE; TEMPORAL BONE; OCCIPITAL BONE). Sphenoid bone consists of a median body and three pairs of processes resembling a bat with spread wings. The body is hollowed out in its inferior to form two large cavities (SPHENOID SINUS).Secretory Rate: The amount of a substance secreted by cells or by a specific organ or organism over a given period of time; usually applies to those substances which are formed by glandular tissues and are released by them into biological fluids, e.g., secretory rate of corticosteroids by the adrenal cortex, secretory rate of gastric acid by the gastric mucosa.Menstrual Cycle: The period from onset of one menstrual bleeding (MENSTRUATION) to the next in an ovulating woman or female primate. The menstrual cycle is regulated by endocrine interactions of the HYPOTHALAMUS; the PITUITARY GLAND; the ovaries; and the genital tract. The menstrual cycle is divided by OVULATION into two phases. Based on the endocrine status of the OVARY, there is a FOLLICULAR PHASE and a LUTEAL PHASE. Based on the response in the ENDOMETRIUM, the menstrual cycle is divided into a proliferative and a secretory phase.Body Weight: The mass or quantity of heaviness of an individual. It is expressed by units of pounds or kilograms.Leuprolide: A potent synthetic long-acting agonist of GONADOTROPIN-RELEASING HORMONE that regulates the synthesis and release of pituitary gonadotropins, LUTEINIZING HORMONE and FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE.Glucocorticoids: A group of CORTICOSTEROIDS that affect carbohydrate metabolism (GLUCONEOGENESIS, liver glycogen deposition, elevation of BLOOD SUGAR), inhibit ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE secretion, and possess pronounced anti-inflammatory activity. They also play a role in fat and protein metabolism, maintenance of arterial blood pressure, alteration of the connective tissue response to injury, reduction in the number of circulating lymphocytes, and functioning of the central nervous system.Receptors, Estrogen: Cytoplasmic proteins that bind estrogens and migrate to the nucleus where they regulate DNA transcription. Evaluation of the state of estrogen receptors in breast cancer patients has become clinically important.Receptors, Progesterone: Specific proteins found in or on cells of progesterone target tissues that specifically combine with progesterone. The cytosol progesterone-receptor complex then associates with the nucleic acids to initiate protein synthesis. There are two kinds of progesterone receptors, A and B. Both are induced by estrogen and have short half-lives.Diabetes Insipidus: A disease that is characterized by frequent urination, excretion of large amounts of dilute URINE, and excessive THIRST. Etiologies of diabetes insipidus include deficiency of antidiuretic hormone (also known as ADH or VASOPRESSIN) secreted by the NEUROHYPOPHYSIS, impaired KIDNEY response to ADH, and impaired hypothalamic regulation of thirst.Promoter Regions, Genetic: DNA sequences which are recognized (directly or indirectly) and bound by a DNA-dependent RNA polymerase during the initiation of transcription. Highly conserved sequences within the promoter include the Pribnow box in bacteria and the TATA BOX in eukaryotes.Sex Characteristics: Those characteristics that distinguish one SEX from the other. The primary sex characteristics are the OVARIES and TESTES and their related hormones. Secondary sex characteristics are those which are masculine or feminine but not directly related to reproduction.Metamorphosis, Biological: Profound physical changes during maturation of living organisms from the immature forms to the adult forms, such as from TADPOLES to frogs; caterpillars to BUTTERFLIES.