The sequential changes in the concentration and pattern of circulating luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)1 following bilateral ovariectomy were determined in 10 premenopausal women. The initial (1st wk) and delayed (3 wk) secretory responses of serum LH and FSH as related to the phases of the menstrual cycle were examined. Ovariectomy during follicular phase was accompanied by a prompt and much greater rise in both LH and FSH during the 1st wk. This rapid rise was followed by a transient decline between the 7th and 10th day which resulted in a biphasic pattern. In contrast, a slower and progressive rise in serum LH and FSH was observed in subjects ovariectomized during luteal phase of the cycle. The quantitative secretion (area under the curve) during the 1st wk after ovariectomy was significantly greater in patients operated on during the follicular phase than during the luteal phase for both LH (P < 0.05) and FSH (P < 0.01). Thereafter, a similar pattern of gonadotropin rise was observed for patients ovariectonized during either phase of the cycle and reached a plateau by the end of the 3rd wk. At this time, the mean LH concentration increased 6-fold for follicular phase surgery and 8-fold for luteal phase surgery. The mean serum FSH concentration increased 8-fold for follicular phase surgery and 12-fold for luteal phase surgery. The net increase in serum FSH level was higher than that in the serum LH level after surgery in both phases of the cycle and thus a reversal of FSH/LH ratio occurred. These data provide indirect evidence that the phase of ovarian steroid secretion may exert a quantitative influence on the gonadotropin turnover rate within the hypothalamic-pituitary system. The augmented gonadotropin release and the reversal of FSH/LH ratio following ovariectomy presumably could be due to an increased gonadotropin net synthesis which is more pronounced for FSH than for LH.
S. S. C. Yen, C. C. Tsai