Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is a hormone which is released by the cells in the placenta during pregnancy. It nourishes and protects the egg which is implanted in a woman’s ovary and is detected after 7 to 8 days when the embryo is implanted. It can be extracted from pregnant women and used for a number of reasons; some being, helping to push forward the process of ovulation and also to produce testosterone for delayed puberty detected in males.
Composition of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin:
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, popularly called hCG in short, is a dimer or a glycoprotein consisting of 237 amino acids, with the beta-subunit consisting of 145 amino acids and the alpha-subunit consisting of 145 amino acids; both of which have separate genes on separate chromosomes. The beta-subunit is unique to hCG and the-alpha subunit is very identical to luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
Development and Control of hCG:
The cells present on the placenta, known as trophoblast cells, produce the Human Chorionic-Gonadotropin hormone and is detected after the fifth or seventh day of pregnancy. As the embryo and placenta develop, the level of Human Chorionic-Gonadotropin hormone goes on increasing simultaneously. It reaches the highest level at the sixth week of pregnancy. After that, it steadily decreases and is no longer required for the nourishment of the embryo since the placenta starts producing progesterone. Although the level of Human Chorionic-Gonadotropin hormone decreases at the stage of the 12th week of pregnancy, it is still detected and can help in many other ways for women’s bodies during pregnancy.
Human Chorionic-Gonadotropin hormone has a lot of functions. The main and the most obvious being the protection and providing nutrition to the egg which is implanted. It also helps in the production of corpus luteal progesterone. It also helps in the differentiation of the cytotrophoblast. One of the main functions is the growth of the fetus, its organs, and the muscles. Along with it, it also promotes growth to the umbilical cord. It also notifies about the pre-pregnancy communication when it is produced in the fallopian tubes. Overall, the Human Chorionic-Gonadotropin hormone plays a vital role in the pregnancy and formation of an embryo and also for its healthy growth. In males, it is used to produce testosterone in the testes.
Other Factors Regarding Human Chorionic-Gonadotropin hormone:
Human Chorionic-Gonadotropin hormone can be extracted and used for various functions from the urine of a pregnant woman. It can also be produced artificially from genetically modified cells and recombinant DNA. Human Chorionic-Gonadotropin hormone levels can be tested by blood or urine tests. If there is a presence of hCG level in the urine, it is liable that the woman is pregnant. But in some cases, it is a sign of cancer because cancerous tumors are responsible for generating this hormone. hCG is also prepared using gonadotropin preparations from animal and synthetic sources which are available in the market since a few years.