Summary The mechanisms controlling luteal function may involve factors that are produced both within the corpus luteum and outside the ovary. The process of luteal control appears to involve a series of molecular species, proteins, peptides, steroids and prostaglandins. Each of these factors may act independently or in concert modifying the actions of one another. The effect of GnRH on luteal function has not been completely examined and thus its significance is unclear. The neurohypophyseal peptides, oxytocin and arginine vasopressin, in combination with LH, prolactin, oestrogens and prostaglandins may play an important regulatory role on the corpus luteum.