The pituitary-Leydig cell axis in men with severe damage to the germinal epithelium.
AffiliationDepartment of Endocrinology, Christie Hospital, Manchester, UK.
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AbstractEighteen men (mean age 27, range 18-30 years) treated for Hodgkin's disease with 6-8 courses of MVPP (Mustine, Vinblastine, Procarbazine and Prednisolone) have had Leydig cell function assessed by their steroidogenic responses to stimulation by a single bolus dose of HCG (1000 units intramuscularly). Normal age-matched men (n = 16) acted as controls. Baseline immunoreactive FSH was markedly raised in the patients (mean 18.1 +/- SD 6.9 vs 2.0 +/- 1.5 IU/l, P less than 0.0001) reflecting damage to the germinal epithelium. Immunoreactive LH was also greater in patients (10.3 +/- 3.9 IU/l) than in controls (3.9 +/- 1.9 IU/l, P less than 0.0001). There were no differences between the baseline testosterone, androstenedione, oestradiol, oestrone and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) concentrations. The testosterone/SHBG ratios were similar in the two groups and there was no correlation between baseline LH and testosterone concentrations or testosterone/SHBG ratios. Testosterone, androstenedione, oestradiol and oestrone secretion in response to HCG stimulation were similar at 24 h and 96 h in both groups. In order to explain the paradox of elevated immunoreactive LH in the face of normal testicular steroidogenesis in such patients, LH biological activity (B) as well as LH immunoreactivity (I) and FSH and testosterone were estimated in a second similar group of patients (n = 17, mean age 27, range 17-43 years) and in a further age-matched control group (n = 17). Bioactive and immunoreactive LH levels were significantly increased (P less than 0.005 and P less than 0.001, respectively) in the patient group.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
CitationThe pituitary-Leydig cell axis in men with severe damage to the germinal epithelium. 1987, 27 (6):683-9 Clin. Endocrinol.