The role of mitogen-activated protein kinase–extracellular receptor kinase pathway in female fertility outcomes: a focus on pituitary gonadotropins regulation

Samira Kahnamouyi, Mohammad Nouri*, Laya Farzadi, Masoud Darabi, Vahid Hosseini, Amir Mehdizadeh

*Corresponding author for this work
14 Citations (Scopus)


Mammalian reproduction systems are largely regulated by the secretion of two gonadotropins, that is, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). The main action of LH and FSH on the ovary is to stimulate secretion of estradiol and progesterone, which play an important role in the ovarian function and reproductive cycle control. FSH and LH secretions are strictly controlled by the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which is secreted from the hypothalamus into the pituitary vascular system. Maintaining normal secretion of LH and FSH is dependent on pulsatile secretion of GnRH. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) proteins, as the main components of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways, are involved in the primary regulation of GnRH-stimulated transcription of the gonadotropins’ α subunit in the pituitary cells. However, GnRH-stimulated expression of the β subunit has not yet been reported. Furthermore, GnRH-mediated stimulation of ERK1 and ERK2 leads to several important events such as cell proliferation and differentiation. In this review, we briefly introduce the relationship between ERK signaling and gonadotropin secretion, and its importance in female infertility.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)209-215
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01.07.2018

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