Hypothalamic follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH)-regulating hormone: structure, physiology, and clinical studies.

A. V. Schally, A. J. Kastin, A. Arimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

137 Scopus citations


A new concept of a single hypothalamic releasing hormone which is capable of releasing either LH or FSH (luteinizing hormone or follicle-stimulating hormone) is presented, and studies are described which summarize its physiological and chemical properties. Porcine LH-RH (LH releasing hormone) in a high state of purity was found to stimulate in rats the release of LH and FSH; this also occurred in humans. The hormone was isolated and was found to consist of 10 amino acids; the hormone has been synthesized, and the synthetic material has been shown to possess the same properties as the natural material in rats: stimulation of the release of LH and FSH in vitro and in vivo. Addition of nanogram amounts of natural porcine LH-RH/FSH-RH or synthetic hormone is capable of stimulating both release and synthesis of LH and FSH in vitro. 12 steroids used for contraception did not block the release of LH and FSH after administration of LH-RH. There is some evidence that progesterone pretreatment blocks the response to LH-RH, while estrogen seems to increase the response to LH-Rh in rats. Clinical studies clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of porcine LH-RH in stimulating the release of LH in the human. The smallest dose which induced a significant rise (p=.01) in LH was 10mcg. LH levels were elevated in prepubertal children as well as in normal adults by the hormone. One woman with secondary amenorrhea ovulated and conceived after treatment with LH-RH. This and other clinical studies suggest LH-RH may be useful in the treatment of fertility and as a diagnostic aid in distinguishing between pituitary and hypothalamic disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703-721
Number of pages19
JournalFertility and sterility
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1971

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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