Gonadotrope

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Overview

Pituitary gonadotropes are one of the 6 major cell types in the anterior pituitary.

They produce two hormones called gonadotropins which stimulate the ovaries. One of these is follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) which stimulates the development of the ovarian follicle in which the ova (egg) matures. The other is luteinizing hormone (LH) which is secreted in a peak just before ovulation.

LH stimulates the development of the corpus luteum which prepares the uterus for pregnancy.

These hormones are secreted in parallel and non-parallel patterns during the reproductive cycle. Secretion is stimulated by neuroendocrine mechanisms

The secretory neurons are cells scattered in a special region of the brain (gonadotropin releasing hormone-GnRH). These nerve cells originally migrated from the olfactory bulb during fetal development and then became specialized to control the reproductive system.

The GnRH is secreted into the blood stream in the pituitary stalk.



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