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Gonadotropin release by clinically nonfunctioning and gonadotroph pituitary adenomas in vivo and in vitro relation to sex and effects of trh gonadotropin releasing hormone and bromocriptine


, : Gonadotropin release by clinically nonfunctioning and gonadotroph pituitary adenomas in vivo and in vitro relation to sex and effects of trh gonadotropin releasing hormone and bromocriptine. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 68(6): 1128-1135

We studied in vivo hormone levels and in vitro hormone and subunit release in a group of 22 patients who were operated upon because of a clinically nonfunctioning or gonadotroph pituitary adenoma. In vivo, 5 of the 22 patients, all men, had hypersecretion of FSH, LH.beta., or a .alpha.-subunit. An elevated ratio of serum .alpha.-subunit to LH and FSH was found in 6 of 8 women in vivo, although in all 6 women serum LH, FSH, and .alpha.-subunit levels were low. LH, FSH, .alpha.-subunit, LH.beta., or a combination of these glycoprotein hormones could be demonstrated in 19 of 22 cultured adenomas. We conclude that 1) virtually all clinically nonfunctioning adenomas contain or release gonadotropins or their subunits in vitro; 2) in vivo hypersecretion of these hormones and subunits occurs infrequently, and in this series only in men; 3) an elevated ratio of .alpha.-subunit to LH and FSH is frequently found in women and may prove to be a useful diagnostic tool; 4) responses to TRH and bromocriptine do not depend on baseline gonadotropin levels, either in vitro or in vivo, implying that the distinction between gonadotroph adenomas and adenomas without hypersecretion of gonadotropins in vivo is absent where hormone dynamics are concerned.

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