follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
A hormone synthesized and secreted by gonadotropes
in the anterior pituitary gland
in mammals. In the ovary, follicle-stimulating
hormone FSH stimulates the growth of immature Graafian follicles to maturation.
As the follicle grows it releases inhibin, which shuts off the FSH production.
In men, FSH enhances the production of androgen-binding
protein by the Sertoli cells of the testes
and is critical for spermatogenesis. FSH is a major constituent of fertility
drugs, used to treat failure of ovulation and decreased sperm