The role of fertility hormones in reproduction

Lead researcher

Associate Professor David M. Robertson

Main finding

The endocrinology of fertility involves the hormonal interplay between the pituitary and the ovary (in this case). We have been investigating which key hormones are responsible for regulating this process. We have concluded that the ovarian hormones, estradiol, inhibin B (both well known) and anti-mullarian hormone are the major contributors regulating the pituitary hormones, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone. We reached this conclusion using multiple regression analysis of hormone profiles across the human menstrual cycle and with age.


Centre for Endocrinology and Metabolism


Chel H Lee , Angela A Baerwald

Journal and article title

Most surprising

The strong independent involvement of anti-mullerian hormone in regulating FSH was a big surprise. This relationship is seen across age and not within cycle in comparison with that observed with oestradiol and inhibin B. The mechanism is unknown.

Future implications

Understanding the hormonal regulation of fertility is important in fertility management particular with the advent of new assisted reproductive technologies (eg IVF).

Disease/health impact

Reproductive Endocrinology

Other points of interest

The Hudson Institute through both its Prince Henry's and MIMR connections undertook considerable research into the role of hormones in particular inhibin, follistatin, steroid hormones involved in fertility regulation, cancer etc. This present study takes a broader overview and attempts to identify the key ovarian factors responsible in this feedback mechanism.

Dr Michael Gantier's Nucleic Acids and Innate Immunity Research Group at Hudson Institute