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Janet A. Amico, Donald W. Richardson and Stephen J. Winters

Abstract.

The effect of iv administration of synthetic oxytocin upon the pulsatile pattern of LH secretion was studied in 5 healthy men and 10 healthy women. Five of the women were studied in the follicular phase of a menstrual cycle and the other 5 were studied in the luteal phase of a cycle. Synthetic oxytocin in 0.9% saline or saline alone was administered via continuous iv infusion for 8 h on 2 consecutive days. Infusions were administered using a double-blinded and radomized schedule. The rate of the oxytocin infusion commenced at 1 mU/min and was increased 1 mU/min every 40 min to a final rate of 12 mU/min. The plasma oxytocin concentration during oxytocin infusion ranged from 2–70 fmol/l. Blood for LH determination was sampled every 20 min in the 5 follicular phase women and every 10 min in the 5 men and 5 luteal phase women. The detect algorithm was used to analyze LH pulsatile secretion. Oxytocin infusion was without significant effect on mean LH, number of LH pulses, or area under the LH curve in men or women studied for the period of observation. Thus it is unlikely that increases in plasma oxytocin regulate the pulsatile secretion of LH in humans.