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(gonadotrophins), hormones formed by the anterior lobe of the pituitary that regulate the endocrine function of the gonads.
The gonadotrophic hormones include follicle-stimulating hormone (prolan A), luteinizing hormone (prolan B, interstial-cell-stimulating hormone, metakentrin), and luteo-tropic hormone (prolactin, mammotropin, mammogen). In females the gonadotrophic hormones stimulate maturation of the egg cells, ovulation, formation of the corpus luteum (in mammals), and the secretion of estrogens; in males they promote spermatogenesis, the growth of interstitial cells, and the secretion of testosterone. Chorionic gonadotrophin (containing predominantly luteinizing hormone), which is obtained from the urine of pregnant women, and a gonadotrophin from the blood serum of pregnant mares (containing predominantly follicle-stimulating hormone) are used for therapeutic purposes (for example, in disturbances of the menstrual cycle, infertility, hypogenitalism, and obesity).