Luteinizing Hormone Releasing Hormone (LHRH)or Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH)is a key molecule in the regulation of reproduction in vertebrates. LHRH, a decapeptide, is produced by neurons in the medial basal hypothalamus (MBH) and secreted in a pulsatile manner into the cardiovascular system. The frequency and amplitude of GnRH pulses determine secretion of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary. Higher frequencies (greater than one pulse per hour) stimulate LH secretion while lower frequencies stimulate FSH secretion. The generation of GnRH pulses is effected by numerous stimuli, such as neural, hormonal and environmental.
Recent studies show that GnRH also has a role in mediating cancer. GnRH has been shown to inhibit the growth of human uterine leiomyloma cells by suppressing proliferation and inducing apoptosis. GnRH analogs have been used to treat a wide variety of reproductive cancers, although the side effects of using such compounds are often quite severe.
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