Gonad

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The gonad is the organ that makes gametes. The gonads in males are the testicles and the gonads in females are the ovaries. The product, gametes, are haploid germ cells. For example, spermatozoon and egg cells are gametes. Although medically the gonad term can refer to either male gonads (testicles) or female gonads (ovaries), the vernacular, or slang, use of "gonads" (or "nads") usually only refers to the testicles.

Regulation

The gonads are controlled hormonally by luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. The anterior pituitary gland's excretion of LH and FSH are, in turn, controlled by the hypothalamus' gonadotropin-releasing hormone.

Development

Gonads start developing as a common anlage, in the form of gonadal ridges, and only later are differentiated to male or female sex organs. The presence of the SRY gene, located on the Y chromosome and encoding the testis determining factor, determines male sexual differentiation. In the absence of the SRY gene from the Y chromosome, the female sex (ovaries instead of testis) will develop.

The development of gonads is a part of the development of the urinary and reproductive organs.

See also

Mons pubis · Labia majora (Anterior commissure, Posterior commissure· Pudendal cleft · Labia minora (Frenulum of labia minora, Frenulum of clitoris· Vulval vestibule · Interlabial sulci · Bulb of vestibule · Vaginal orifice

M: ♀ FRS

anat/phys/devp

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