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Hcg Hormone

Hcg Hormone

What Is the HCG Hormone?

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG, or human chorionic gonadotrophin) is a placental hormone initially secreted by cells (syncitiotrophoblasts) from the implanting conceptus during week 2, supporting the ovarian corpus luteum, which in turn supports the endometrial lining and therefore maintains pregnancy

The hormone can be detected in maternal blood and urine and is the basis of many pregnancy tests. The protein has many other roles including stimulating the onset of fetal gonadal steroidogenesis, and high levels have been found to be teratogenic to fetal gonadal tissues.

Other potential cellular sources can include: hyperglycosylated hCG produced by cytotrophoblast cells, free beta-subunit made by multiple primary non-trophoblastic malignancies, and pituitary hCG made by the gonadotrope cells of the anterior pituitary.

What is human chorionic gonadotrophin?

prooduced by the cells that surround the growing human embryo; these cells will eventually go on to form the placenta. Human chorionic gonadotrophin can be detected in the urine from 7-9 days post-fertilisation as the embryo attaches and implants in the womb; it forms the basis of most over-the-counter and hospital pregnancy tests (see photo).

During the menstrual cycle, when an egg is released from the ovary at ovulation, the remnants of the ovarian follicle (which enclosed the egg) form a new, temporary ovarian gland called the corpus luteum, which produces the hormone progesterone. If, after two weeks, the ovulated egg remains unfertilised, the corpus luteum stops producing progesterone, and breaks down.

biological function of hCG

The hormone hCG comprises an α-subunit and a β-subunit. The α-subunit is common to hCG, to the autocrine/paracrine hyperglycosylated hCG, to the hormone pituitary hCG, and to the hormones LH, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), and to the common free α-subunit formed in excess. The β-subunit of hCG, while structurally somewhat similar to the β-subunit of LH, differentiates hCG, hyperglycosylated hCG, and pituitary hCG from other molecules. Both hCG and LH bind and function through a common hCG/LH receptor. The biggest difference between LH and hCG is that LH, pI 8.0, has a circulating half-life of just 25-30 minutes, while hCG, pI 3.5, has a circulating half-life of approximately 37 hours, or 80-fold longer than that of LH. In many respects hCG is a super LH produced in pregnancy, with 80X the biological activity of LH, yet acting on the joint receptor. While LH, FSH and TSH are made by the anterior lobe of the pituitary, hCG is produced by fused and differentiated placental syncytiotrophoblast cells .

What happens if I have too little human chorionic gonadotrophin?

Low levels of human chorionic gonadotrophin can indicate a failing pregnancy. Reduced levels of human chorionic gonadotrophin are often observed in ectopic pregnancies (where the embryo implants outside of the uterus) or in miscarriages.

What happens if I have too much human chorionic gonadotrophin?

There is no strong evidence that high levels of human chorionic gonadotrophin cause direct negative consequences. Very high levels of human chorionic gonadotrophin are rare but can indicate hyper-proliferation of the placenta (also referred to as hydatidiform moles or molar pregnancies), which can lead to cancer (choriocarcinomas) in some cases. Levels of human chorionic gonadotrophin may also be elevated sometimes in association with some non-pregnancy related cancers (e.g. kidney, breast, lung and gastrointestinal tract). In such cases, levels of human chorionic gonadotrophin in the blood/urine can serve as a tumour marker.