Dictionary > Gonadotroph


noun, plural: gonadotrophs
The cell in the anterior pituitary that releases gonadotropins, such as luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
The pituitary gland is the master endocrine gland of the endocrine system. It is responsible for the production and the release of different hormones that regulate various physiological processes. The pituitary gland is comprised of the anterior and the posterior pituitaries bordered by pars intermedia. The anterior pituitary is the glandular portion and release hormones that regulate growth, reproduction, lactation, and stress. There are about five types of hormone-secreting cells in the anterior pituitary classified based on the hormones that they produce and secrete: (1) somatotrophs, (2) corticotrophs, (3) thyrotrophs, (4) gonadotrophs, and (5) lactotrophs.
Gonadotrophs are the cells in the anterior pituitary that release gonadotropins. They constitute about 3 to 5 % of the anterior pituitary cells. The gonadotropins belong to a group of glycoprotein hormones that act by stimulating the gonads and controls reproductive activities. In particular, it stimulates the growth of the gonads and the secretion of sex hormones. Apart from the anterior pituitary, the placenta of certain animals also produces and secretes gonadotropins, particularly during pregnancy. Examples of gonadotropins are follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and chorionic gonadotrophin. Nevertheless, gonadotrophs produce FSH and LH hormones as a response to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamus.
Gonadotrophs have been reported to possess insulin receptors. High level of insulins reacting with the receptors of the gonadotrophs could cause disruption in the release of gonadotropins.
Also called:

  • gonadotropic cell
  • gonadotrope

See also:

  • anterior pituitary
  • hormone
  • endocrine system
  • luteinizing hormone (LH)
  • follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)

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