For the cartoon character, see Buster Gonad.
For gonads of non-human organisms, see Sex organ.
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Anatomical terminology

A gonad or sex gland or reproductive gland[1] is an organ that makes the cells used in producing babies, the egg or sperm cells (gametes).[2] The male gonad, the testicle, produces sperm in the form of spermatozoa. The female gonad, the ovary, produces egg cells. Both of these products, called gametes, are haploid germ cells.


The gonads are controlled by luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) secreted by the anterior pituitary gland.[3] This secretion in turn is controlled by the hypothalamus' gonadotropin-releasing hormone.[4]


Gonads start developing as a common primordium (an organ in the earliest stage of development), in the form of gonadal ridges,[5] and only later are differentiated to male or female sex organs. The presence of the SRY gene,[6] 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


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "gonadotropin". The Free Dictionary. Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. Elsevier. 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  4. ^ John W. Kimball (12 February 2011). "Hormones of the Hypothalamus: Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)". Kimball's Biology Pages. John W. Kimball (The Saylor Foundation). Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  5. ^ Satoh M.; Anat J. (August 1991). "Histogenesis and organogenesis of the gonad in human embryos". PubMed (National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine) (Abstract). Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan. PMID 1769902. 
  6. ^ "Human Developmental Genetics". Institut Pasteur. Institut Pasteur. Retrieved 4 June 2012.