Mutations and polymorphisms in FSH receptor: functional implications in human reproduction

Reproduction. 2013 Oct 23;146(6):R235-48. doi: 10.1530/REP-13-0351. Print 2013 Dec.


FSH brings about its physiological actions by activating a specific receptor located on target cells. Normal functioning of the FSH receptor (FSHR) is crucial for follicular development and estradiol production in females and for the regulation of Sertoli cell function and spermatogenesis in males. In the last two decades, the number of inactivating and activating mutations, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and spliced variants of FSHR gene has been identified in selected infertile cases. Information on genotype-phenotype correlation and in vitro functional characterization of the mutants has helped in understanding the possible genetic cause for female infertility in affected individuals. The information is also being used to dissect various extracellular and intracellular events involved in hormone-receptor interaction by studying the differences in the properties of the mutant receptor when compared with WT receptor. Studies on polymorphisms in the FSHR gene have shown variability in clinical outcome among women treated with FSH. These observations are being explored to develop molecular markers to predict the optimum dose of FSH required for controlled ovarian hyperstimulation. Pharmacogenetics is an emerging field in this area that aims at designing individual treatment protocols for reproductive abnormalities based on FSHR gene polymorphisms. The present review discusses the current knowledge of various genetic alterations in FSHR and their impact on receptor function in the female reproductive system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility / genetics
  • Male
  • Models, Molecular
  • Mutation*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Receptors, FSH / chemistry
  • Receptors, FSH / genetics*
  • Reproduction / physiology*


  • Receptors, FSH