Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford


  • David J. Piekarski
  • Naomi Ondrasek
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_424-1



Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is a glycoprotein hormone that acts primarily at the gonads to regulate multiple aspects of reproductive physiology in both males and females, including gametogenesis, follicle maturation, and steroidogenesis.

FSH Structure

FSH, and the closely related luteinizing hormone (LH) and chorionic gonadotropin (CG) form a class of hormones called the gonadotropins that regulate the physiology and function of the gonad. FSH and LH are produced and secreted by gonadotrope cells in the anterior pituitary gland and all gonadotropins are composed of two distinct subunits, an alpha subunit that is common to FSH, LH, CG, and thyroid-stimulating hormone, and a beta subunit that differs among these four hormones and confers specificity of function to each. The alpha and beta subunits are bonded noncovalently and each contain numerous oligosaccharides attached to the amino acid backbones. Different patterns and...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PsychologyUniversity of California, BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.UC DavisDavisUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • David Hanbury
    • 1
  1. 1.Averett UniversityDanvilleUSA