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Bernd Hinney, Christina Henze and Wolfgang Wuttke

Hinney B, Henze C, Wuttke W. Regulation of luteal function by luteinizing hormone and prolactin at different times of the luteal phase. Eur J Endocrinol 1995;133:701–17. ISSN 0804–4643

In 54 healthy women luteal function was assessed by sequential withdrawals of blood samples at 10-min intervals for 8–10 h. Subgroups of the women were studied during the early and late ovulatory period and during the early, mid- and late luteal phase. Bio- and immunoreactive luteinizing hormone (LH), prolactin, testosterone, estradiol and progesterone levels were determined in each sample. While the bio- and immunoreactivity of LH pulses correlated fairly well, a number of bio- or immunoreactive LH pulses were observed that were not detected by the respective other method. Responsivity of the corpus luteum to LH episodes developed during the second half of the luteal phase and was most marked in cases where LH episodes were accompanied by prolactin episodes. In the absence of prolactin episodes, LH episodes did not stimulate progesterone or estradiol secretion. The highest incidence of coincident LH and prolactin pulses was observed during the mid- and late luteal phase. Serum testosterone levels showed also some fluctuations but these were independent of immuno- or bioactive LH episodes and therefore most likely not of luteal origin. Prior to menstruation LH episodes were not any more stimulatory to progesterone secretion, indicating that it is not the withdrawal of LH but, rather, another possibly intraovarian mechanism that results in luteolysis. In a number of women, increased estradiol and progesterone secretion was strictly related to the prior occurrence of LH and prolactin pulses. In other subjects, both gonadal steroids fluctuated largely with no discernible correlation to LH fluctuations. This may indicate that in these subjects the corpora lutea have some degree of autonomous regulation.

W Wuttke, Abteilung für Klinische und Experimentelle Endokrinologie, Universitäts-Frauenklinik, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, D-37075 Gottingen, Germany

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Hubertus Jarry, Bettina Meyer, Gerhard Holzapfel, Bernd Hinney, Walter Kuhn and Wolfgang Wuttke

Abstract. Ovarian follicular fluid (FF) of a number of species contain regulatory peptides secreted by granulosa cells or by autonomic nerve terminals. In this report we demonstrate the presence of authentic (HPLC-verification) angiotensin II and III as well as of substance P (SP) in human FF obtained from hMG stimulated infertile patients undergoing in vitro fertilization. Angiotensin II/III (AII/III), estradiol (E2) and progesterone concentrations increase with the size of the follicles. SP concentrations did not vary significantly in FF of various sizes. These peptide concentrations in FF are about 10-fold higher than those measured in the serum of the same patients. Attempts to correlate SP, AII/III, E2 and progesterone concentrations in the individual FF with the ability of an oocyte to be fertilized, failed. Neither AII/III, SP, E2 nor progesterone concentrations were different in these subclasses of FF. Follicles of patients punctured under general anesthesia contained significantly more SP than follicles of patients which had lumbar analgesia. AII/III concentrations were the same in FF of both treatment groups. The presence of angiotensin II and III in FF in increasing concentrations depending on the maturity of the follicle and the inability of general anesthesia to affect the AII/III concentrations suggests that this peptide is produced within the ovary.