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Gonadotropins are trophic sex hormones that stimulate the function of the gonads ( ovaries or testes ). They are proteins or peptides and therefore belong to the proteohormones .

The gonadotropins follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) are formed in the pars distalis of the anterior pituitary gland and from there released into the bloodstream . The secretion is stimulated in spurts by binding the hypothalamic hormone gonadoliberin (GnRH).

The chorionic gonadotropin during pregnancy in the placenta synthesizes and humans human chorionic gonadotropin called.

Structurally, the gonadotropins consist of two subunits, which are referred to as the α subunit and the β subunit. FSH, LH and hCG have the same α-subunit. The different functionality of these three hormones is caused by the β-subunit.

The gonadotropins are used during in vitro fertilization and can, under certain circumstances, trigger an ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome .

In the case of gonadotropin resistance , the gonads do not react adequately to the stimulation effect of the gonadotropins, which can lead to hypergonadotropic hypogonadism .


  • Freimut Leidenberger, Thomas Strowitzki and Olaf Ortmann: Clinical endocrinology for gynecologists. Edition: 3, Springer, 2004. ISBN 3-540-44162-X , p. 215.
  • Klaus Diedrich: Gynecology and Obstetrics. Edition: 2, Springer, 2006. ISBN 3-540-32867-X , p. 101.