Question: Which hormones have the biggest impact on cell growth and division?

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  1. Hormones (like eostrogen, testosterone, growth hormone, insulin) work by attaching to “receptors”, which pass on the message to a cell to respond by growing or dividing etc. So particular hormones will only act on cells that have the right type of receptor for that hormone. For example, your liver and muscle cells respond very quickly to insulin but not so well to oestrogen.

    So, every cell has a particular mix of hormones that it will respond to under different conditions, it is actually quite complicated (like most things in biology)


  2. Hey watto,

    Hormones are chemicals that are released into the body to target specific cells or metabolic processes when required. So hormones like oestrogen, growth hormone, adrenaline, insulin and testosterone act on different cells at different times. The cells have molecules called receptors, which are a bit like sentires or look-outs on the cell.They detect the hormone, which attaches it self to the receptor, and then a signal is passed into the cell, instructing the cell to divide, grow, release another substance etc.

    When hormones aren’t properly regulated in the body, you often get diseases, even cancer. Insulin is released into the bloodstream and helps cells take up glucose. When insulin isn’t released, cells aren’t able to take up as much glucose – this is what happens in diabetes.

    Mutated hormone receptors can also cause cancer, because they then behave as if they are being activated by hormones all the time.For example, oestrogen receptor is mutated in some cancers. This mutation makes the receptor act as if the hormone has attached to it and so it keeps sending a signal to the cell to grow, keep growing, as fast as possible. So when we look for specific treatments for cancers, it’s to target molecules like this that are misbehaving.