AskDefine | Define gonadal

Dictionary Definition

gonadal adj : of or relating to the gonads; "gonadal hormones"

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Of or pertaining to the gonads

Extensive Definition

The gonad is the organ that makes gametes. The gonads in males are the testes 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.


In addition to producing gametes, the gonads are a combined glands providing both exocrine and endocrine functions. The male and female gonads produce steroid sex hormones, identical to those producted by adrenal cortical cells. The major distinction is the source and relative amounts produced.


The male gonads, known as the testes or testicles, secrete a class of hormones called androgens, and produce spermatozoa. The predominant androgen in males is testosterone.


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.


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 SRY gene, located on the Y chromosome and encoding the testis determining factor, decides the direction of this differentiation.
In 1943, Matthew Browne started a development of gonads in a part of the development of the urinary and reproductive organs.
gonadal in Catalan: Gònada
gonadal in Danish: Gonade
gonadal in German: Gonade
gonadal in Estonian: Sugunääre
gonadal in Spanish: Gónada
gonadal in French: Gonade
gonadal in Ido: Gonado
gonadal in Italian: Gonadi
gonadal in Lithuanian: Lytinė liauka
gonadal in Macedonian: Гонада
gonadal in Dutch: Gonade
gonadal in Polish: Gonada
gonadal in Portuguese: Gónada
gonadal in Russian: Гонада
gonadal in Simple English: Gonad
gonadal in Slovenian: Spolna žleza
gonadal in Finnish: Sukupuolirauhaset
gonadal in Swedish: Könskörtel
gonadal in Thai: ต่อมบ่งเพศ
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