Some children with juvenile hypothyroidism exhibit unexplained precocious puberty. Interaction of TSH with the human FSH receptor (hFSH-R) is a possible pathophysiological mechanism for this syndrome that has not been explored due to the lack of hFSH-free TSH preparations and the scarcity of a suitable hFSH-R-based assay system. To devise an in vitro FSH bioassay suitable for exploring this mechanism, we expressed hFSH-R complementary DNA in COS-7 cells and stimulated them with recombinant hTSH (rec-hTSH). Rec-hTSH elicited a dose-dependent cAMP response in the in vitro hFSH-R bioassay; however, the concentration of rec-hTSH required for half-maximal stimulation was several logs greater than that of hFSH. Rec-hTSH acted as a competitive inhibitor of hFSH at the hFSH-R, indicating that hTSH and hFSH are acting through the same receptor, namely the hFSH-R. This provides a potential novel mechanism for the precocious puberty of juvenile hypothyroidism.