This family includes the mammalian hormones follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and placental/chorionic gonadotropins human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG), as well as at least two forms of fish gonadotropins. These hormones are central to the complex endocrine system that regulates normal growth, sexual development, and reproductive function.
LH and FSH are secreted by the anterior pituitary gland, while hCG and eCG are secreted by the placenta in pregnant humans and mares, respectively.
The gonadotropins act on the gonads, controlling gamete and sex hormone production.
Gonadotropin is sometimes abbreviated Gn. The alternative spelling gonadotrophin which inaccurately implies a nourishing mechanism is still sporadically used.
There are various preparations of gonadotropins for therapeutic use, mainly as fertility medication. There are also fad diet or quack preparations, which are illegal in various countries.