HCG Articles 3

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Utility of an Oral Presentation of HCG (Human Choriogonadotropin) for the Management of Obesity: A Double Blind Study

            (Belluscio, Ripamonte et al. 2009) Download

Female obese volunteers participating in a double blind study, and submitted to the administration of an oral presentation of hCG (Human Choriogonadotropin) plus a VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet), decreased specific body circumferences and skinfold thickness from conspicuous body areas more efficiently than Placebo+VLCD -treated subjects.

Since a significant fat proportion from total body fat is subcutaneously located (50 to 65 percent, depending on sex and fat distribution), this hCG metabolic activity would result in a reduction of the total body fat mass, the main cause for obesity. We suggested that the combina- tion of a VLCD and oral hCG could not only trigger clinically significant changes in subcutaneous fat stores but simultaneously decrease body weight and modelate body contour.

hCG oral administration proved to be a safe and effective procedure on obese treated volunteers. No side effects were observed during the study. There are no reports in the literature regarding this administration route to compare our findings.

Compared to placebo treated subjects, volunteers who were managed with an oral administration of hCG coped more efficiently with daily irritating situations, were in a better mood, and handled home conflicts without stepping up family discussions.

Utility Of An Oral Presentation Of hCG

         Bellusciot 1992 Download


Isolation and amino acid sequence of COOH-terminal fragments from the beta subunit of human choriogonadotropin

            (Birken and Canfield 1977) Download

The amino acid sequence of the unique COOH-terminal region of the beta subunit of human choriogonadotropin has been reinvestigated. The desialylated subunit was digested with thermolysin and a 27-residue peptide from positions 115 through 141 isolated in a high yield. Quantitative Edman sequence degradation of this peptide, of another peptide produced by thermolysin digestion containing residues 142 to 145, and of two tryptic peptides (residues 123 to 145, 134 to 145) has established that the amino acid sequence of this region is: (formula: see text). In addition, the positions of attachment of the carbohydrate moieties to serine residues was established by a direct procedure using alkaline elimination and 35S-labeled sulfite addition, which yields [35S]-cysteic acid residues at the site of a substituted serine. Carbohydrate side chains in the COOH-terminal region have been shown to exist at residues 121, 127, 132, and 138. These studies have also resulted in the development of improved methods for the purification of COOH-terminal peptides of the human choriogonadotropin beta subunit.

Biological functions of hCG and hCG-related molecules

            (Cole 2010) Download

BACKGROUND: hCG is a term referring to 4 independent molecules, each produced by separate cells and each having completely separate functions. These are hCG produced by villous syncytiotrophoblast cells, hyperglycosylated hCG produced by cytotrophoblast cells, free beta-subunit made by multiple primary non-trophoblastic malignancies, and pituitary hCG made by the gonadotrope cells of the anterior pituitary. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: hCG has numerous functions. hCG promotes progesterone production by corpus luteal cells; promotes angiogenesis in uterine vasculature; promoted the fusion of cytotrophoblast cell and differentiation to make syncytiotrophoblast cells; causes the blockage of any immune or macrophage action by mother on foreign invading placental cells; causes uterine growth parallel to fetal growth; suppresses any myometrial contractions during the course of pregnancy; causes growth and differentiation of the umbilical cord; signals the endometrium about forthcoming implantation; acts on receptor in mother's brain causing hyperemesis gravidarum, and seemingly promotes growth of fetal organs during pregnancy. Hyperglycosylated hCG functions to promote growth of cytotrophoblast cells and invasion by these cells, as occurs in implantation of pregnancy, and growth and invasion by choriocarcinoma cells. hCG free beta-subunit is produced by numerous non-trophoblastic malignancies of different primaries. The detection of free beta-subunit in these malignancies is generally considered a sign of poor prognosis. The free beta-subunit blocks apoptosis in cancer cells and promotes the growth and malignancy of the cancer. Pituitary hCG is a sulfated variant of hCG produced at low levels during the menstrual cycle. Pituitary hCG seems to mimic luteinizing hormone actions during the menstrual cycle.

Gonadotropin promotion of adventitious root production on cuttings of Begonia semperflorens and Vitis vinifera

            (Leshem and Lunenfeld 1968) Download

Adventitious rooting of Begonia semperflorens cv. Indian Maid and Vitis vinifera cv. Semillon stem cuttings was significantly promoted by human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Basal sections of HCG treated cuttings upon which promoted rooting took place had markedly less endogenous gibberellin (GA) activity than non-treated controls or apical sections of treated ones, while changes in auxin levels were not found. HCG also inhibited GA(3)-induced reducing sugar release from embryoless barley endosperm halves. These findings are discussed in the light of a possible analogy to gonadotropin action in animal systems.

The presence of glycosylated, biologically active chorionic gonadotropin in human liver

            (Malkin, Reviczky et al. 1985) Download

Whole extracts of normal human liver contain hCG-like material as determined by radioimmunoassay using antibodies to the beta subunit of the hormone. However, the extracts are biologically inactive, when analyzed by the in vitro rat Leydig cell assay for steroidogenesis. When subjected to Concanavalin-A-Sepharose chromatography, the radioimmunoassayable material was entirely lectin-bound. After elution with methyl-alpha-D-glucopyranoside, the lectin-bound fractions now displayed biological activity.

Production of choriogonadotropin-like factor by a microorganism

            (Maruo, Cohen et al. 1979) Download

Extracts from an acetone powder preparation of a culture of a microorganism tentatively named Progenitor cryptocides contain choriogonadotropin (CG)-like factor as determined by radioimmunoassay with antiserum to human (h)CG beta subunit COOH-terminal peptide and radioreceptor assay with bovine corpus luteum membranes. Possible interference by proteases in the extracts was excluded. Immunoreactive materials reacting with antisera to hCG beta subunit and hCG beta subunit COOH-terminal peptide were also found in the extracts. No free alpha subunit was detected. The CG-like factor was purified by chromatography on Sephadex G-100, concanavalin A-Sepharose, and DEAE-Sephadex A-50. The factor was adsorbed by concanavalin A-Sepharose, suggesting that it contains mannose and glucose moieties. The factor was eluted at the same position as standard hCG on Sephadex G-100. It dissociated into two bands when subjected to sodium dodecyl sulfate/polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis; the bands corresponded to the respective standard hCG subunits. The biological activity of the purified factor as determined by the rat uterine weight assay and the ovarian weight assay was equivalent to 380 (95% confidence limits: 320-490) and 880 (780-1020) international units/mg, respectively. It can be concluded from the present results that a microorganism produces a glycoprotein that is biologically active and has physicochemical properties similar to those of hCG.

Thyroid-stimulating activity and chorionic gonadotropin

            (Nisula and Ketelslegers 1974) Download

The nature of the substance with thyroid-stimulating activity (TSA) present in human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) prepared from pregnancy urine was investigated. In the mouse thyrotropin bioassay, the characteristic maximum of blood radioactivity obtained with the TSA in hCG preparations occurred after that obtained with pituitary thyrotropin (hTSH) but before that obtained with long-acting thyroid stimulator. Antiserum to the alpha subunit of hCG produced significant neutralization of the TSA in hCG. Significant antagonism of hTSH biologic activity was achieved with certain doses of hCG, suggesting that the TSA in hCG was a partial agonist of hTSH. This antagonism was neutralized by antiserum to the beta subunit of hCG. These immunologic results suggest that the substance with TSA in hCG preparations contains antigenic determinants similar to those of both the alpha and the beta subunit of hCG. Amounts of highly purified hCG and crude commercial hCG of equal immunologic activity were biologically indistinguishable in the bioassay for TSA. Both hCG immunoreactivity and the TSA in hCG adsorbed to concanavalin A and eluted with 0.2 M methyl alpha-D-glucopyranoside. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that TSA is an intrinsic property of hCG or of a glycoprotein molecule physicochemically, biologically, and immunologically similar to hCG.

Hyperthyroidism after gonadotrophic ovarian stimulation

            (Noppen, Velkeniers et al. 1988) Download

Human chorionic gonadotropin inhibits Kaposi's sarcoma associated angiogenesis, matrix metalloprotease activity, and tumor growth

            (Pfeffer, Bisacchi et al. 2002) Download

Kaposi's sarcoma is a highly angiogenic, AIDS-associated neoplasm that is more frequent in male than in female patients. Cases of spontaneous regression during pregnancy have been reported and the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) has shown anti-Kaposi's sarcoma activity in several, but not all, clinical trials. Antiproliferative and proapoptotic activities specific for Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) cells have been shown. We report here further analyses of the anti-KS activity of the hormone and show that urinary hCG, the hCG beta-subunit, the hCG beta-core, and to a lesser extent a recombinant hCG, directly inhibit the activity of matrix metalloproteases of different origin. The hCG hormone also inhibited angiogenesis in vivo in the matrigel sponge assay as well as growth of KS cell xenografts in nude mice. The effect of the pure recombinant hormone dimer on xenograft growth was transient, indicating that the activity of intact hCG alone is not sufficient to overcome the growth potential of this tumor and suggesting that active hCG fragments or other anti-KS activities contribute to the activity of urinary hCG.

Pounds and Inches A new approach to obesity

         Simeons 1976 Download

Human chorionic gonadotropin-like substance in nonendocrine tissues of normal subjects

            (Yoshimoto, Wolfsen et al. 1977) Download

By means of two assay systems, a beta chain human chorionic gonadotropin radioimmunoassay and a radioreceptor gonadotropin assay, a chorionic gonadotropin-like substance was demonstrated in extracts of liver and colon obtained at autopsy from three patients who died of nonneoplastic disease. In contrast to placental chorionic gonadotropin, colon and liver chorionic gonadotropin was not bound to concanavalin A-Sepharose columns, indicating that this substance possessed little or no carbohydrate. Previous workers demonstrated that desialylated human chorionic gonadotropin possesses little or no bioactivity in vivo but retains full radioreceptor and radioimmunoassay activity in vitro. Our data suggest that the genome responsible for the human chorionic gonadotropin production is not completely suppressed in adult nonendocrine tissues, and that the chorionic gonadotropin produced by colon and liver has little or no bioactivity in vivo because of its low carbohydrate content. Since many normal tissues produce chorionic gonadotropin, bioactivity may be modulated by regulation of carbohydrate content.


Belluscio, D. O., L. Ripamonte, et al. (2009). "Utility of an Oral Presentation of HCG (Human Choriogonadotropin) for the Management of Obesity: A Double Blind Study." The Original Internist: 197-210.

Birken, S. and R. E. Canfield (1977). "Isolation and amino acid sequence of COOH-terminal fragments from the beta subunit of human choriogonadotropin." J Biol Chem 252(15): 5386-92.

Cole, L. A. (2010). "Biological functions of hCG and hCG-related molecules." Reprod Biol Endocrinol 8: 102.

Leshem, Y. and B. Lunenfeld (1968). "Gonadotropin promotion of adventitious root production on cuttings of Begonia semperflorens and Vitis vinifera." Plant Physiol 43(3): 313-7.

Malkin, A., M. Reviczky, et al. (1985). "The presence of glycosylated, biologically active chorionic gonadotropin in human liver." Clin Biochem 18(2): 75-7.

Maruo, T., H. Cohen, et al. (1979). "Production of choriogonadotropin-like factor by a microorganism." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 76(12): 6622-6.

Nisula, B. C. and J. M. Ketelslegers (1974). "Thyroid-stimulating activity and chorionic gonadotropin." J Clin Invest 54(2): 494-9.

Noppen, M., B. Velkeniers, et al. (1988). "Hyperthyroidism after gonadotrophic ovarian stimulation." Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 296(6616): 171-2.

Pfeffer, U., D. Bisacchi, et al. (2002). "Human chorionic gonadotropin inhibits Kaposi's sarcoma associated angiogenesis, matrix metalloprotease activity, and tumor growth." Endocrinology 143(8): 3114-21.

Yoshimoto, Y., A. R. Wolfsen, et al. (1977). "Human chorionic gonadotropin-like substance in nonendocrine tissues of normal subjects." Science 197(4303): 575-7.