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On the history of an idea the singleness of gonado stimulation

On the history of an idea the singleness of gonado stimulation

Archives d'Anatomie d'Histologie et d'Embryologie Normales et Experimentales 58: 163-166

The history of the idea of gonadostimulation is traced back to Zondek and Aschheim (1927), who discovered the follicle stimulating capacity of urine of menopausal women. Later follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) of the anterior pituitary were identified, isolated and obtained in a highly purified state. Max Aron (1892-1974) believed as early as 1932 that a single gonad stimulation factor may control ovarian function. The existence of FSH and LH seemed to contradict Aron's notion. Highly purified gonadotropins showed an ambivalent action, as Aron surmised. Both FSH and LH, when injected into hypophysectomized female guinea pigs, exerted, a follicle stimulating and luteinizing activity, depending on the dose. Therefore a luteinizing effect of FSH or a follicle stimulating effect of LH could not be excluded. Subsequent refinements in biochemical analysis permitted a study of the primary structure of the .alpha. and .beta.-chains of the pituitary glycoprotein hormones, showing that FSH, LH and TSH [thyrotropin] had .alpha. subunits in common. The cross-activity between LH and FSH is thereby explained. Later a carp gonadotropin was isolated which has a clear dual gonad stimulating action. Hence, Aron's theory of a single common factor was vindicated.

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