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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1999 May;84(5):1664-9.

Diurnal rhythm in serum levels of inhibin B in normal men: relation to testicular steroids and gonadotropins.

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  • 1Department of Growth and Reproduction, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen N, Denmark.


Inhibin B is a testicular glycoprotein that is secreted from the Sertoli cells and believed to play a role in FSH secretion. We characterized the diurnal profile of serum inhibin B and the relation to gonadotropins and testicular steroids. Serum inhibin B was measured in 13 healthy normal male volunteers (median age, 30 yr) by continuous blood drawing, with sampling every 30 min for 24 h. Blood samples were also analyzed for FSH, LH, testosterone, estradiol, and sex hormone-binding globulin. We found a significant diurnal variation in inhibin B, with peak values in the early morning and nadirs in the late afternoon, followed by gradual increasing nocturnal values. An average decline of 3%/h from 0900 until 1700 h was calculated. Significant cross-correlation was found between inhibin B and testosterone as well as estradiol, whereas no cross-correlation was found between inhibin B and FSH. Two-dimensional time-series analyses revealed a statistically significant influence of testosterone on inhibin B. In addition, estradiol and inhibin B had a significant influence on one another. In conclusion, we found a significant diurnal variation in inhibin B levels in normal men, with a pattern of higher values in the early morning hours and lower values in the late afternoon and evening. We did not find evidence for a role of FSH in this diurnal variation of inhibin B. However, covariation with serum levels of testosterone and estradiol suggested that these hormones might play a role in the diurnal rhythm of inhibin B, although some other common influence could not be excluded.

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