New insights into the role of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in reproduction

Kalinderis M1, Papanikolaou A2, Kalinderi K3, Zournatzi V4, Tarlatzis BC

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mamatsio general hospital, Kozani, Greece
22nd Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Papageorgiou general hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece
3Department of General Biology, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
42nd Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hippokrateio general hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece

Correspondence: Kalinderis Michail, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mamatseio general hospital, GR-54656, Kozani, Greece. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) is a glycoprotein comprised of 2 polypeptide subunits, αHCG and βHCG, and 8 oligosacharide side chains that give diversity to its molecule. Of the 15 different derivative molecules that circulate in the blood 3 are biologically active and are referred as total HCG: 
1) the regular hCG, 2) the Hyperglycosylated hCG (hCG-H) and, 3) the Hyperglycosylated hCG free β,(HCG-Hβ). Each molecule has different function and separate roles in human reproduction and evolution. hCG and its derivative molecules have multiple roles in the invasion of trophoblast during placental development. hCG is secreted in human pituitary with a cycle similar to LH. The capability of hCG for deep myometrial invasion at the formation of the placenta is correlated to the volume of human brain compared to primates. hCG has a crucial role in placental diseases such as miscarriage, preeclampsia and trophoblastic disease. The hCG molecules have different characteristics and properties that could be useful in solving clinical problems when their measurement comes in every day clinical practice.

Key words: human chorionic gonadotropin; pregnancy; placenta