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Fertil Steril. 1993 Oct;60(4):626-33.

The influence of luteinizing hormone and insulin on sex steroids and sex hormone-binding globulin in the polycystic ovarian syndrome.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).



To examine the relationship between hyperinsulinemia, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), and body mass index (BMI) on LH-induced hyperandrogenemia in patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).


Insulin responses during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) were assessed in 25 consecutive women with PCOS and 20 control women matched for BMI. Insulin responses and sensitivity (SI) were also determined using a frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT).


The clinical research center at a university medical center.


Serum LH, SI, and basal, peak, and area under the curve (AUC-insulin responses) were determined and correlated with SHBG, androstenedione (A), T, and free T concentrations.


Compared with controls, the AUC-insulin response during OGTT was greater in PCOS, with an average increase of 44%. During IVGTT, AUC-insulin response was also significantly higher in PCOS versus controls, with an average increase of 53%. In addition, SI was reduced in PCOS versus controls with an average decrease of 53%. The average differences in oral- and intravenous-glucose-induced hyperinsulinemia and in insulin sensitivity between PCOS and controls were relatively constant across the entire physiological range of BMI. In PCOS, baseline LH showed strong positive correlations with baseline A and T. However, there were no significant correlations between either basal, peak, or AUC-insulin response during OGTT and IVGTT with basal T or A concentrations or between insulin and androgen levels measured at 30-minute intervals throughout the OGTT. However, basal, peak, and AUC-insulin responses during OGTT were strongly correlated with fasting SHBG binding capacity.


These data are consistent with the hypothesis that hyperinsulinemia in PCOS influences the biologically active component of T by lowering SHBG concentrations while having little apparent impact on LH-induced secretion of androgens in vivo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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