Intracellular receptors are receptors located inside the cell rather than on its cell membrane . Classic hormones that use intracellular receptors include thyroid and steroid hormones . Examples are the class of nuclear receptors located in the cell nucleus and cytoplasm and the IP 3 receptor located on the endoplasmic reticulum . The ligands that bind to them are usually intracellular second messengers like inositol trisphosphate (IP 3 ) and extracellular lipophilic hormones like steroid hormones . Some intracrine peptide hormones also have intracellular receptors.