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Biomarker: Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

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Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

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Experienced Running

Biological or Clinical Significance:

Luteinizing hormone (LH, also known as lutropin and sometimes lutrophin[1]) is a hormone produced by gonadotropic cells in the anterior pituitary gland. In females, an acute rise of LH (“LH surge”) triggers ovulation and development of the corpus luteum. In males, where LH had also been called interstitial cell–stimulating hormone (ICSH), it stimulates Leydig cell production of testosterone. It acts synergistically with FSH.

In both males and females, LH is essential for reproduction. LH supports theca cells in the ovaries that provide androgens and hormonal precursors for estradiol production. At the time of menstruation, FSH initiates follicular growth, specifically affecting granulosa cells. With the rise in estrogens, LH receptors are also expressed on the maturing follicle, which causes it to produce more estradiol. In males, LH acts upon the Leydig cells of the testis and is regulated by GnRH. The Leydig cells produce testosterone (T) under the control of LH, which regulates the expression of the enzyme 17-β hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase that is used to convert androstenedione, the hormone produced by the gonads, to testosterone, an androgen that exerts both endocrine activity and intratesticular activity on spermatogenesis.

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