luteinizing hormone

Last reviewed 01/2018

Luteinizing hormone is a gonadotrophin from the anterior pituitary which acts as follows:

In females it matures ovarian follicles in their final stages, and stimulates release of oestrogen from them. Other functions include ovulation, formation of the corpus luteum - hence the name - and the secretion of progesterone in the second half of the menstrual cycle. This process is dealt with in more detail in the relevant section.

In males LH is involved in the control of androgen synthesis in Leydig cells. LH stimulates testicular Leydig cells to produce the androgens testosterone and dihydrotestosterone, and a small amount of oestradiol and oestrogen.