Hormone Functions and Classes
A hormone is a broad class of signaling molecules which travel throughout multicellular organisms via the circulatory system, whose function is to regulate physiology and behavior. There are three classes of hormones, eicosanoids, steroids, and those derived from proteins such as amines and peptides. These, and the glands which secrete said hormones, comprise the endocrine system.
The endocrine system is an integral part of any biological system as it is the means by which an organism communicates with other cells and organs. As such, growth, development, movement, reproduction, behavior and more are allowed to function. This occurs by the hormones being secreted into the blood stream, and once it has found its target cell, binds to specific receptor proteins which result in a change of cellular function.
As such, the endocrine system is an important field of biomedical research. Endocrinology seeks to understand the reasons behind hormone deficiency or excess, and tumors of glands involved in the endocrine system. Such varying degrees of hormone levels can lead to serious health defects and are thus studied extensively.
In studying the endocrine system, it is common to use monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies to the biomarkers of the most common endocrine diseases.