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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Pivagabine decreases stress-related hormone secretion in women with hypothalamic amenorrhea.

Stress-induced neuroendocrine activities influence the regulation of endocrine glands and axes. Weight loss-related hypothalamic amenorrhea is a typical stress-induced physiopathological condition. It is characterized by increased adrenal cortex activation and by reduced GH, LH, FSH and gonadal steroid hormone levels. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of pivagabine, a neurotropic drug (1800 mg/day for 7 days) or placebo administration on ACTH, cortisol, GH, LH, FSH and PRL plasma levels in patients with hypothalamic amenorrhea related to weight loss. Hormonal parameters and the pulsatile release of cortisol (6-hour pulsatility, sampling every 10 minutes) were evaluated before and after 7 days of treatment. Pivagabine administration significantly reduced mean plasma ACTH (from 21.7+/-1.7 to 15.4+/-1.2 pg/ml, p<0.05) and cortisol levels (from 12.2+/-0.7 to 9.7+/-0.7 ng/ml, p<0.05) and increased GH levels (from 1.4+/-0.5 to 3.0+/-0.9 ng/ml, p<0.05). A significant reduction of cortisol pulse amplitude was observed (p<0.01) while no change in pulse frequency occurred. No changes were observed in placebo-treated subjects. LH, FSH and PRL levels were not modified by placebo or pivagabine administration. In conclusion, in patients with hypothalamic amenorrhea related to weight loss pivagabine induced a significant decrease of cortisol secretion and an increase of GH release by pivagabine administration, suggesting that this drug exerts a specific neuroendocrine modulatory role.[1]


  1. Pivagabine decreases stress-related hormone secretion in women with hypothalamic amenorrhea. Genazzani, A.D., Stomati, M., Bersi, C., Luisi, S., Fedalti, M., Santuz, M., Esposito, G., Petraglia, F., Genazzani, A.R. J. Endocrinol. Invest. (2000) [Pubmed]
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