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Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1995;20(6):603-12.

Neuroendocrine aspects of primary endogenous depression--XIV. Gonadotropin secretion in female patients and their matched controls.

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  • 1Neurosciences Research Center, Allegheny-Singer Research Institute, Medical College of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh 15212-4772, USA.


To determine the extent of dysregulation of gonadotropin secretion in depressed women, we measured nocturnal and diurnal serum luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) concentrations and the responses of these hormones to gonadotropin releasing hormone (LHRH) in 20 Research Diagnostic Criteria primary, definite endogenous female depressives and in 20 individually matched female normal controls. Fourteen patients and 14 controls were premenopausal, and six patients and six controls were peri/postmenopausal or panhysterectomized. None of the latter was receiving estrogen replacement therapy. The premenopausal patients showed no significant differences in basal nocturnal or diurnal gonadotropin concentrations and no significant differences in hormone concentrations post-LHRH compared to their premenopausal matched controls. In contrast, in the postmenopausal subjects there were (1) significantly increased diurnal vs. nocturnal serum FSH concentrations in the depressives; (2) marginally increased nocturnal, diurnal, and LHRH-stimulated LH concentrations and highly significantly increased LHRH-stimulated FSH concentrations in the depressives compared to their controls; and (3) positive correlations between the LH measures and ratings of depression severity in the patients. These results suggest a dysregulation of the HPG axis in peri/postmenopausal and panhysterectomized female endogenous depressives.

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