FSH R - a hormone receptor critical for both female and male reproductive systems

Mon, 02/29/2016 - 15:33

FSH R, or follicle-stimulating hormone receptor, is a transmembrane G-protein coupled receptor that is expressed in the ovaries, uterus, and testes. The ligand for this receptor, considered to be the central hormone of mammalian reproduction, is called follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) [1]. In females, FSH R is essential for proper ovarian development and follicle maturation. In males, it is required for normal spermatogenesis. Linkage analysis revealed that in females, a mutation in the extracellular ligand binding domain of FSH R segregated with a disease called hypergonadotrophic ovarian dysgenesis [2]. In males, with a mutation in the intracytoplasmatic loop that leads to ligand-independent constitutive FSH R activation, spermatogenesis is sustained in the absence of gonadotropins [3]. Based on these examples, it is evident that FSH R has a profound effect on the reproductive system.                                    

FSH R antibodies have been used to study various aspects of FSH R reproductive biology. For example, by western blotting with an FSH R antibody, researchers demonstrated that androgens increase FSH R levels, which in turn supports FSH-mediated growth and development [4]. Authors suggest that while preovulatory androgens can promote follicle development and improve ovulation rates, excess androgen can be detrimental and cause PCOS and thus there is a critical balance which exists to regulate proper androgen levels.                                                                                                                         

Because of its physiological expression in ovaries and testes, it is well known that FSH R has been implicated in gonadal cancer biology. However, more recently, using FSH R antibodies, it has been demonstrated that FSH R also plays a role in extra-gonadal cancers. With an FSH R antibody, samples from non-gonadal neuroendrocrine tumors such as adrenal and pituitary tumors were analyzed by immunostaining and researchers found positive FSH R immunostaining in the majority of these tumor cells. The FSHR antibody showed staining was strong in the endothelium of intra- and/or peritumoral blood vessels [5, 6]. Future research is needed to determine the functionality and mechanism of FSH R in these cells and its role in tumor growth. Detection of FSH R by use of FSH R antibodies is essential for understanding its role in various tissues and disease states.

Novus Biologicals offers FSH R reagents for your research needs including:


  1. 9408742
  2. 7553856
  3. 8636335
  4. 24516121
  5. 23042261
  6. 24002953


  1. Simoni, M., J. Gromoll, and E. Nieschlag, The follicle-stimulating hormone receptor: biochemistry, molecular biology, physiology, and pathophysiology. Endocr Rev, 1997. 18(6): p. 739-73.
  2. Aittomäki, K., et al., Mutation in the follicle-stimulating hormone receptor gene causes hereditary hypergonadotropic ovarian failure. Cell, 1995. 82(6): p. 959-968.
  3. Gromoll, J., M. Simoni, and E. Nieschlag, An activating mutation of the follicle-stimulating hormone receptor autonomously sustains spermatogenesis in a hypophysectomized man. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 1996. 81(4): p. 1367-70.
  4. Sen, A., et al., Androgens regulate ovarian follicular development by increasing follicle stimulating hormone receptor and microRNA-125b expression. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2014. 111(8): p. 3008-13.
  5. Pawlikowski, M., et al., Immunohistochemical detection of FSH receptors in pituitary adenomas and adrenal tumors. Folia Histochem Cytobiol, 2012. 50(3): p. 325-30.
  6. Pawlikowski, M., K. Winczyk, and H. Stepien, Immunohistochemical detection of follicle stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) in neuroendocrine tumours. Endokrynol Pol, 2013. 64(4): p. 268-71.

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