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inhibits production of FSH by the anterior pituitary gland


stimulates Leydig cells to secrete testosterone in males and triggers ovulation in females


stimulates the initial secretion of estrogens by growing follicles; promotes follicle growth


stimulates male pattern of development; stimulates protein synthesis; contributes to sex drive


promotes development of female reproductive structures; lowers blood cholesterol


is secreted by the corpus luteum to maintain the uterine lining during the first trimester of pregnancy


relaxes the uterus by inhibiting myometrial contractions during monthly cycles; increases flexibility of the pubic symphysis during childbirth

human chorionic gonadotropin

maintains the corpus luteum during the first trimester of pregnancy


anterior pituitary hormone that stimulates milk production


posterior pituitary hormone responsible for uterine contraction and release of milk from mammary glands


contribute to male sexual behavior, spermatogenesis, and libido; adrenal cortex is the main source of this hormone in females


stimulates male external genital development

gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)

hypothalamic neurosecretory cells increase their secretion of this hormone, which in turn stimulates gonadotrophs in the anterior pituitary to increase their secretion of the two gonadotropins, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)


synthesized from cholesterol in the testes and is the principal androgen


is lipid-soluble and readily diffuses out of Leydig cells into the interstitial fluid and then into blood


suppresses secretion of LH by anterior pituitary gonadotrophs and suppresses secretion of GnRH by hypothalamic neurosecretory cells

dihydrotestosterone (DHT)

in the external genitals and prostate, the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase converts testosterone into this hormone


this hormone in addition to testosterone, act synergistically on the Sertoli cells to stimulate secretion of androgen-binding protein (ABP) into the lumen of the seminiferous tubules and into the interstitial fluid around the spermatogenic cells

androgen-binding protein (ABP)

binds to testosterone, keeping its concentration high

Testosterone-dihydrotestosterone androgen receptor complex

hormone-receptor complex regulates gene expression,
turning some genes on and others off


stimulates the male pattern of development of reproductive system ducts and the descent of the testes before birth


converted in the brain to estrogens (feminizing hormones), which may play a role in the development of certain regions of the brain in males

testosterone and dihydrotestosterone

bring about development and enlargement of the male sex organs and the development of masculine secondary sexual characteristics at puberty


are anabolic hormones; they stimulate protein synthesis

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)

secreted by the hypothalamus controls the ovarian and uterine cycles


initiates follicular growth


stimulates further development of the ovarian follicles; stimulates the theca cells of a developing follicle to produce

FSH and LH

stimulate the ovarian follicles to secrete estrogens


are taken up by the granulosa cells of the follicle and then converted into estrogens


triggers ovulation and then promotes formation of the corpus luteum

corpus luteum

produces and secretes estrogens, progesterone, relaxin, and inhibin


promote the development and maintenance of female reproductive structures, secondary sex characteristics, and the breasts


increase protein anabolism; are synergistic with human growth hormone


lower blood cholesterol level


inhibit both the release of GnRH by the hypothalamus and secretion of LH and FSH by the anterior pituitary


cooperates with estrogens to prepare and maintain the endometrium for implantation of a fertilized ovum and to prepare the mammary glands for milk secretion; high levels inhibit GnRH and LH

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