To study changes in the binding of gonadotropins to human follicles and corpora lutea, we have examined the binding of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) in the human ovary throughout the menstrual cycle, by both quantitative binding assays and surface binding autoradiography. The specific high-affinity low-capacity receptors for hLH were demonstrated in both human follicles and corpora lutea. Binding of <sup>125</sup>I-hFSH was identified in the granulosa cells, but not in the thecal cells of the preantral and antral follicles at various stages of follicular development. The binding of <sup>125</sup>I-hLH to the thecal cells increased during follicular development, and a dramatic increase was preferentially observed in the granulosa cells of the preovulatory follicles. In the corpora lutea, the binding of <sup>125</sup>I-hLH increased from the early luteal phase to the midluteal phase and decreased towards the late luteal phase. The results of the present study suggest that changes in the binding of gonadotropins in the ovarian target cells during the menstrual cycle might play an important role in the regulation of follicular and luteal function.