Luteinising Hormone (LH)

Hormonal Balance: How to Lose Weight by Understanding Your Hormones and Metabolism by Scott Isaacs Dr. Bob's Guide to Balancing Female Hormones

Luteinising Hormone (LH) 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".

Luteinising 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 luteinising hormone are slightly different in men and women:

The actions of luteinising hormone in men include:

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

The actions of luteinising hormone in women include:

  • Stimulating oestrogen and progesterone production from the ovary: A surge of luteinising hormone midway through the menstrual cycle leads to ovulation. Continued secretion of luteinising 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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