Four male transexual subjects were given a superactive luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) analogue, D-tryptophan-6-LHRH at daily doses of 100 μg for 3-6 mo. A decrease in beard growth, acne, and erectile potency was noted; the latter was documented objectively with the recordings of nocturnal penile tumescence episodes. Plasma testosterone and dihydrotestosterone levels fell to castrate values; basal prolactin and luteinizing hormone levels showed a small decline, whereas the acutely releasable luteinizing hormone was significantly suppressed. A rise of plasma testosterone from castrate to normal levels was demonstrable with the use of human chorionic gonadotropin. Discontinuation of treatment led to a normalization of erectile potency and plasma testosterone. The suppression of Leydig cell function by D-tryptophan-6-LHRH might have wide application in reproductive biology and in endocrine-dependent neoplasia (where it could replace surgical castration).
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