Thyrotrope cells are cells found in the anterior pituitary which produce thyroid stimulating hormone (or thyrotropin). Thyrotropin-releasing hormone induces the thyrotrope cells to secrete thyrotropin into the systemic circulation. Thyrotropin binds its receptor on thyroid follicular cells, stimulating the production and secretion of thyroid hormones which provide feedback inhibition of thyrotropin secretion.
Pituitary tumors may arise in thyrotrope cells, resulting in excessive thyroid gland function, and in gonadotrope cells, that often do not secrete any functional hormone. Headaches, visual disturbances and abnormal pituitary function may result from local growth of the tumor.