Interstitial Cell Stimulating Hormone (ICSH)

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Interstitial Cell Stimulating Hormone (ICSH) is also known as Luteinizing Hormone, which is sometimes written Luteinising Hormone. This glossary entry therefore contains the same information as for those names and spellings.

Interstitial Cell Stimulating Hormone is a glycoprotein gonadotropin hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary gland (an endocrine gland in the human body). It is released by the anterior pituitary in hourly pulses called "circhoral oscillations".

Interstitial Cell Stimulating Hormone (and also follicle stimulating hormone) binds to receptors in the testes (in males) and the ovaries (in females), and regulates gonadal function by promoting sex steroid production and "gametogenesis" - i.e. the processes by which spermatoza and ova are formed.

The roles of interstitial cell stimulating hormone are slightly different in men and women:

The actions of interstitial cell stimulating hormone in men include:

  • Stimulating testosterone production from the interstitial cells of the testes (Leydig cells);
  • Interstitial cell stimulating hormone (and also follicle stimulating hormone) are essential for the maturation of spermatoza - i.e. mature male sex cells.

The actions of interstitial cell stimulating hormone in women include:

  • Stimulating oestrogen and progesterone production from the ovary: A surge of luteinizing hormone midway through the menstrual cycle leads to ovulation. Continued secretion of interstitial cell stimulating hormone stimulates the corpus luteum to produce progesterone.
  • In conjunction with follicle stimulating hormone, controlling the secretion of oestrogen from ovarian follicles.

See also: What is a Hormone ?

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