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Ursula Kuhnle, Frank Bidlingmaier and Dietrich Knorr


Conjugated and free urinary oestrone and oestradiol-17β were determined by radioimmunoassay in 98 urine samples of 44 normal male and female infants ranging from 7 days to 2 years of age.

Both sexes excreted significantly more oestrone and oestradiol-17β during the first 3 months of life compared to the end of the first year. Values peaked at the beginning of the second month. During the first 7 months of life, female infants excreted significantly more conjugated oestradiol-17β than oestrone, whereas male infants consistently excreted equal amounts of conjugated oestradiol-17β and oestrone. However, both sexes excreted significantly more free unconjugated oestrone than oestradiol-17β during the same period.

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Michael Bormann, Lothar Kochhan, Dieter Knorr, Frank Bidlingmaier and Klaus Olek

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency is a disorder with different clinical manifestations, that results from mutations in the P-450(c21) gene. Direct sequence analysis of P-4 50(c21) genes in a family demonstrates that patients with different clinical forms of congenital adrenal hyperplasia can have identical P-4 50(c21) genes, suggesting that other effects play a role in developing the different clinical forms.

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Wolfgang Brennemann, Lieselotte Sommer, Birgit Stoffel-Wagner, Frank Bidlingmaier and Dietrich Klingmüller

Brennemann W, Sommer L, Stoffel-Wagner B, Bidlingmaier F, Klingmüller D. Secretion pattern of immunoreactive inhibin in men. Eur J Endocrinol 1994;131:273–9. ISSN 0804–4643

Chronological changes in serum concentrations of inhibin, a gonadal glycoprotein hormone, were studied in healthy male volunteers (age 24–27 years). Secretion profiles of immunoreactive inhibin (ir-inhibin) were compared with those of luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and testosterone. Blood samples were collected every 15 min for 24 h. Serum inhibin concentrations were measured by a two-site immunoenzymatic assay with antibodies raised against distinct epitopes of the recombinant 1–32 amino acids of the α-subunit of human inhibin. The normal range for men was 0.79–3.1 U/l × 10−3, the sensitivity of the assay was 0.1 U/l × 10−3 (cv: within-assay, 6.8%; between-assay, 8.2%). Luteinizing hormone and FSH were measured by immunoradiometric assay and testosterone by radioimmunoassay. Secretion profiles of inhibin and testosterone were tested for diurnal variations by cosinor rhythmometry. Highest ir-inhibin concentrations were observed in the morning at 08.00 h, with peak values of 2.45–3.20 U/l × 10−3. During the evening and the night, ir-inhibin levels were relatively low; lowest concentrations were observed between 01.00 h and 02.00 h at night: 1.20–1.86 U/l × 10−3. Highest testosterone levels were observed in the morning (20.5–36.6 pmol/I), lowest concentrations were detected at night (7.35–12.6 pmol/l). Cosinor rhythmometry supported the suggestion that there is a clear circadian secretion of ir-inhibin and testosterone, respectively. The secretion pattern of ir-inhibin was analyzed by the Cluster pulse analysis computed algorithm, which identified four to seven inhibin pulses per day, depending on the person under observation. A significant correlation could be observed between median testosterone and ir-inhibin concentrations (r = 0.449, p < 0.001). In conclusion, ir-inhibin and testosterone in healthy male volunteers follow a clear diurnal rhythm. Moment to moment changes of ir-inhibin can be observed in all secretion profiles investigated. A probable physiological role for pulsatile inhibin secretion is not yet clarified.

Dietrich Klingmüller, Institut für Klinische Biochemie, Universität Bonn, Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25, D-53105 Bonn, Germany

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Annegret Quade, Michael Rahn, Hans-Udo Schweikert, Frank Bidlingmaier and Dietrich Klingmüller

Urinary GH excretion reflects average plasma levels. Using a highly sensitive sandwich enzyme immunoassay we determined GH concentrations in the 24 h accumulated urine samples of 54 healthy persons (aged 1.5–90 years), 8 acromegalic patients, 4 acromegalic patients after enucleation of a GH-producing adenoma, 8 patients with partial hypopituitarism and in first morning urine and 12 h accumulated daytime urine of 4 healthy children and 3 children with growth failure. GH secretion is age-dependent, with high rates between ages 1 and 20 (ages 0–20 years: 10.4 ng/g creatinine±6.3 vs age > 20–75 years: 3.1 ng/g creatinine±1.6). An age-dependent increase in urinary GH is found in the pubertal age group (10 ng/24 h±6.8 vs prepubertal group: 4.6 ng/24 h±2.95). GH excretion of patients with acromegaly differs significantly from healthy subjects (72 ng/24 h±49 vs 3.9 ng/24 h±2.3). After a successful operation, acromegalic patients do not differ from the collective norm. Six of 8 patients with partial hypopituitarism show lower GH concentrations in urine than healthy subjects (1.2 ng/l±0.2 vs 2.6 ng/l±1.2), but daily GH output does not differ, since significantly more urine is then excreted. At night, healthy children secrete significantly more GH than during the day (night: 0.16 ng·kg−1·(12 h)−1±0.02 vs day: 0.07 ng·kg−1·(12 h)−1±0.03), while output is the same for GH-deficient children. Both groups have similar GH daytime output, but GH-deficient children have significantly less nocturnal output. In conclusion, measuring urinary GH excretion seems to be a suitable means of diagnosing GH hypo- and hypersecretion.