The physiology of inhibin has been investigated using rodent and ruminant animal models in both in vitro and in vivo studies. Inhibin was originally defined as a substance that causes selective suppression of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) secretion by pituitary gonadotropes. Although this definition is still valid, it fails to encompass the breadth of inhibin's actions. In addition to its endocrine action on pituitary FSH secretion, inhibin has a local paracrine action in its target tissues. The inhibin α subunit appears to play an important role in determining whether inhibin or activin is produced in cells. More recently, transgenic and knockout mouse models have highlighted the importance of inhibin for fertility and the inhibin α subunit for tumor suppression. Whether inhibin exerts its effects by a direct action on the gonad or by regulating FSH secretion, it is clear that inhibin is essential for normal reproductive function. In this article, we review the rodent and ruminant models employed to investigate inhibin physiology and examine the potential of inhibin-based vaccines to enhance gonadal function.