Oversecretion of growth hormone in adulthood causes acromegaly. Note the changes in this woman's facial features at ages (a) nine, (b) sixteen, (c) thirty-three, and (d) fifty-two.

Both follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing

(loo'te-in-iz'eng) hormone are glycoproteins and are called gonadotropins, which means they exert their actions on the gonads or reproductive organs. FSH, for example, is responsible for growth and development of egg-cell-containing follicles in the ovaries. It also stimulates the follicular cells to secrete a group of female sex hormones, collectively called estrogen.

In males, FSH stimulates the initial production of sperm cells in the testes at puberty. LH promotes secretion of sex hormones in both males and females and is essential for release of egg cells from the ovaries. Other functions of the gonadotropins and their interactions are discussed in chapter 22.

The mechanism that regulates secretion of go-nadotropins is not well understood. However, it is


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Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

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