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PCAT Biological Processes – Anterior Pituitary Gland Removal

Tropic hormones are vital for proper hormonal responses. If the anterior pituitary gland was surgically removed, which of the following effects would most clearly be demonstrated?

A. A reduction in basal metabolic rate
B. An increased stress response to exercise
C. An accelerated growth spurt
D. An oversecretion of digestive enzymes

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A is correct. The anterior pituitary gland secretes a number of vital tropic hormones, one of which is thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). This hormone acts on the thyroid gland to promote the secretion of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These thyroid hormones increase the metabolic rate of nearly every cell in the body.

The other anterior pituitary hormones are: adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), prolactin (PRL), growth hormone (GH), and melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH). Removal of the anterior pituitary would most likely result in a depressed stress response due to the absence of ACTH (Choice B), and it would result in growth suppression due to the absence of GH (Choice C). There is no evidence to suggest removal of the anterior pituitary would result in greater digestive enzyme secretion (Choice D).

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