Follile Stimulating Hormone (FSH) derives its name from the fact that it stimulates the growth of ovarian follicle in the female. In males, FSH stimulates the Sertoli cells to facilitate sperm development, and LH stimulates the Leydig cells to secrete testosterone.
The hypothalamic hormone, gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH), stimulate the anterior pituitary gland to secrete both FSH and LH. FSH causes the Sertoli cells to release a peptide hormone, called inhibin that specifically inhibits FSH secretion. Similarly, LH stimulates testosterone secretion and testosterone feeds back to inhibit the release of LH, both directly at the anterior pituitary gland and indirectly by reducing GnRH release.
The importance of negative feed back inhibition can be demonstrated by removing the testes, in the absence of testosterone and inhibin, the secretion of FSH and LH from the anterior pituiary is greatly increased.
Inside the testis, the seminiferous tubeles are the sites of spermatogenesis. Germinal cells in the seminiferous tubules give rise to spermatozoa by meiosis. Sertoli cells are non germinal cells within the wall of seminiferous tubules. They assist spermatogenesis in several ways, such as helping to convert spermatids into spermatozoa.