How does fsh affect the male reproductive system?

1 Answer
Jul 11, 2016

It acts on Sertoli cells to stimulate spermatogenesis.


Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is released from the anterior pituitary and it acts on the Sertoli cells in the testes.

Sertoli cells are supporting cells of the testes found in the seminiferous tubules. These cells form the barrier between the testes and the blood vessels and are important in the nourishment of the spermatozoa.

Under influence of FSH the Sertoli cells produce androgen binding protein (ABP). This protein has a very high affinity for androgen hormones, such as testosteron. ABP thus serves to increase the level of hormones in the tubular epithelium. These hormones exert trophic effects on spermatogenesis.

In addition, the Sertoli cells also produce the hormone inhibin which inhibits the release of FSH by the pituitary (feedback inhibition).