Human thyrostimulin ranks among the glycoprotein hormone family. These hormones consist of two subunits, the common alpha- and specific beta-subunits, which associate noncovalently to form a heterodimer. The alpha-subunit combines with four distinct beta-subunits giving rise to four biologically active hormones in human: FSH, LH, TSH, and CG. FSH, LH, and TSH, mainly expressed in the anterior pituitary, are essential for coordinated endocrine regulation in the hypothalamus- pituitary axis and show to activate specific G protein–coupled receptors in the thyroid (TSH receptor) and gonads (LH and FSH receptors), respectively. The heterodimeric glycoprotein hormones have only been identified in vertebrates and are highly conserved in organisms from primitive rayfin fish (Chondrostei) to human in both primary sequences and functional characteristics. Corticotroph-derived glycoprotein hormone (CGH), also referred to as thyrostimulin, is a noncovalent heterodimer of glycoprotein hormone alpha 2 (GPHA2) and glycoprotein hormone beta 5 (GPHB5). Recombinant A2/B5 heterodimeric glycoproteins activates human TSH receptors, but not LH and FSH receptors, and shows high affinity to TSH receptors in a radioligand receptor assay. The heterodimer also stimulates cAMP production and thymidine incorporation by cultured thyroid cells and increases serum thyroxine levels in TSH-suppressed rats in vivo. This new heterodimeric glycoprotein hormone was named as thyrostimulin based on its thyroid-stimulating activity. The expression of thyrostimulin in the anterior pituitary known to express TSH receptors suggested a paracrine mechanism.