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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Jan 1;304(1):E109-16. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00360.2012. Epub 2012 Oct 31.

Decreased luteinizing hormone pulse frequency is associated with elevated 24-hour ghrelin after calorie restriction and exercise in premenopausal women.

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Women's Health and Exercise Laboratory, Noll Laboratory, Dept. of Kinesiology, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


Elevated ghrelin has been shown to be associated with reduced luteinizing hormone (LH) pulsatility in Rhesus monkeys, rats, men, and recently women. We previously reported that 24-h ghrelin concentrations are elevated in women following a 3-mo exercise and diet program leading to weight loss. We investigated whether the elevations in ghrelin following an ~3-mo exercise and diet program leading to weight loss are associated with a decrease in LH pulsatility. The nonexercising control group (Control, n = 5) consumed a controlled diet that matched energy needs, whereas energy intake in the exercise group (Energy Deficit, n = 16) was reduced from baseline energy requirements and supervised exercise training occurred five times per a week. Significant decreases in body weight (-3.0 ± 0.6 kg), body fat (-2.9 ± 0.4 kg) and 24-h LH pulse frequency (-0.18 ± 0.08 pulses/h), and a significant increase in 24-h mean ghrelin were observed in only the Energy Deficit group. The pre-post change in LH pulse frequency was negatively correlated with the change in mean 24-h ghrelin (R = -0.485, P = 0.030) and the change in peak ghrelin at lunch (R = -0.518, P = 0.019). Interestingly, pre-post change in night LH pulse frequency was negatively correlated with the change in mean day ghrelin (R = -0.704, P = 0.001). Elevated total ghrelin concentrations are associated with the suppression of LH pulsatility in premenopausal women and may play a role in the suppression of reproductive function following weight loss.

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