The male sex hormone is called testosterone and this hormone is required for spermatogenesis . Testosterone is a steroid hormone that is produced in the leydig cells within the testes. A relatively high concentration of testosterone is maintained within the testicular tissue and testosterone is circulated around the body by diffusion of the hormone from the spermatic cord into the testicular veins and arteries. The primary action of testosterone is anabolic growth, spermatogenesis promotion and promotion of secretion from the accessory sex glands.
Male sex hormones are regulated by negative feedback systems that operate at various levels within the male sex hormone system. The starting point for the production of testosterone (and therefore the production of spermatozoa)is the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus contains neuroendocrine cells that are capable of secreting a substance called Gonadotropin-releasing hormone or GnRH. GnRH stimulates basophilic cells in the adenohypophysis, via the "portal system" to secrete two intermediate hormones within the male sex hormone cycle; Luteinizing hormone (LH) and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH).
The secretion of GnRH is pulsatile and can vary greatly throughout the day and/or year, and therefore the secretion of LH and FSH are also pulsatile (although the plasma concentration of FSH does not fluctuate as much as LH due to the effect of Inhibin, see below). The activity of GnRH neuroendocrine cells is determined by spontaneous rhythms and by sensory impulses. Cycles such as seasonal sexual activity are controlled by this pulsatile system. In male animals there are generally 4 to 12 GnRH pulses per day.