Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is a glycoprotein gonadotropin hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary gland, an endocrine gland in the human body.
Follicle stimulating hormone (and also luteinizing hormone) bind to receptors in the testes (in males) and the ovaries (in females), and regulate gonadal function by promoting sex steroid production and "gametogenesis" - i.e. the processes by which spermatoza and ova are formed.
The role of follicle stimulating hormone is slightly different in men and women.
The actions of follicle stimulating hormone in men include:
- Stimulating testicular growth and enhancing the production of a protein that causes high local concentrations of testosterone near the sperm - which is an essential factor in the development of normal spermatogenesis
- Follicle stimulating hormone (and also luteinizing hormone) are essential for the maturation of spermatoza (mature male sex cells).
The actions of follicle stimulating hormone in women include:
- Controlling the development of ovarian follicles (vessels inside the ovaries within which ova develop);
- In conjunction with luteinizing hormone, controlling the secretion of oestrogen from ovarian follicles.
See also: What is a Hormone ?
For further general information including the locations of the endocrine glands, see the Endocrine Glands of the Human Body.
- Introduction to the Endocrine System
- What is a hormone ?
- Water Soluble Hormones vs Fat Soluble Hormones
- Triggers for Hormone Release
- Hormone Regulation Feedback Mechanism
- Major Glands of the Endocrine System
- The Pituitary Gland
- The Adrenal Glands
- Non-endocrine tissues that release hormones
- Conditions of the Endocrine System