Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone

1. Like cortisol, the thyroid hormone is under trophic control of the hypothalamic-anterior pituitary axis. The hypothalamus releases thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) which, upon delivery to the anterior pituitary via the hypophyseal portal system, triggers the release of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) from the anterior pituitary. TSH then stimulates the thyroid (an endocrine gland located just below the Adam’s apple, or larynx) to release thyroid hormones. As was the case with the release of cortisol, both the trophic hormones (TRH and TSH) and the peripheral hormone (thyroid hormone) serve as feedback signals. A goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland, sometimes by as much as 10 times, as shown in the pictures below. Goiters result from elevated TSH levels. With which condition – elevated or depressed circulating thyroid hormone levels – would you expect goiters to be associated? Why? Be very specific and descriptive. NOTE: The answer does not require detailed knowledge of the action or nature of thyroid hormone, only of the way hormones under control of the hypothalamic-anterior pituitary axis work. For more information on Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone check on this:

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