noun, plural: gonadotropin-releasing hormones
A releasing hormone synthesized by the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons in the hypothalamus and released via the hypophysial portal system in order to reach and act on the anterior pituitary to release gonadotropin hormones (e.g. luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone)
The gonadotropin-releasing hormone is one of the various hormones produced by the hypothalamus (particularly, the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons in the hypothalamus). It is released via the hypophysial portal system into the anterior pituitary. Thus, this hormone is regarded as one of the hypothalamic hormones wherein hormones are produced by specialized neurons that have axon terminals that extend and form the bulk of the median eminence, and then released to act on the target cells of the anterior pituitary.
The gonadotropin-releasing hormone interacts with the gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor on the cell surface of the target cell. The binding leads to the activation of the cell to release gonadotropin.
Gonadotrophs are the cells in the anterior pituitary that release gonadotropins as a response to gonadotropin-releasing hormone from the hypothalamus. Examples of gonadotropins that they release are follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and chorionic gonadotrophin. They act by stimulating the gonads and controlling reproductive activities. The gonadotropins take the role of stimulating the growth of the gonads and the secretion of sex hormones. Gonadotropins, however, are released not just from the anterior pituitary. The placenta of certain animals, for instance, also produces and secretes gonadotropins, particularly during pregnancy.
In humans, the precursor for the gonadotropin-releasing hormone is encoded by the GNRH1 gene on chromosome 8.
Gonadotropin-releasing hormones outside the brain are found to occur in the placenta, the gonads, and certain cancer cells.
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