Onset and characteristics of the midcycle surge in bioactive and immunoactive luteinizing hormone secretion in normal women: Influence of physiological variations in periovulatory ovarian steroid hormone secretion

Marc A. Fritz, Robert I. Mclachlan, Nancy L. Cohen, Kristine D. Dahl, William J. Bremner, Michael R. Soules

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Limited studies in nonhuman primates suggest that the midcycle LH surge is characterized by distinctly different patterns of bioactive (LH-BIO) and immunoactive (LH-RIA) LH secretion. To further examine the patterns of midcycle LH-BIO and LH-RIA secretion and explore the influence of physiological variations in steroid hormone feedback on LH surge dimensions we studied seven normal ovulatory women over the periovulatory interval. In each, blood samples were obtained every 3 h and transvaginal ultrasonography was performed every 12 h over a 5-7 day interval at midcycle. Serum levels of LH-RIA, FSH, estradiol (E2), progesterone (P4), and 17-hydroxyprogesterone were determined by RIA; LH-BIO was estimated using a mouse leydig cell bioassay. Hormone data were standardized to the time of surge onset in LH-RIA (time zero), defined as a 100% increase above a 6-point running mean baseline value; surge cessation was defined as a decline to below baseline concentration. Mean LH-RIA surge duration was 54.0±4.0 h. LH-BIO surge onset was simultaneous with that of LH-RIA and coincident with the peak in E2 levels (mean data). Mean P4 and 17-hydroxyprogesterone rose in a parallel, phasic manner; an abrupt increase in slope occurred between -6 h and +30 h but an acute rise in P4 was not consistently observed among individuals. The surge onset to follicle rupture interval (mean 37.6±4.2 h) positively correlated with peak LH-RIA (r=0.76, P2 or P4 (mean, peak, integrated, slope) and surge amplitude or duration (LH-RIA, FSH), peak value, or surge onset to peak interval (LH-RIA, LH-BIO, FSH). These data suggest that in women, 1) onset of the midcycle surge in LH-RIA and LH-BIO is simultaneous, and 2) surge characteristics are not influenced by physiological variations in steroid hormone secretion that occur beyond the thresholds required for surge initiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-493
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1992
Externally publishedYes

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