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

Circulating hormone concentrations in hypothyroid rats with induced polycystic ovaries.

The induction of polycystic ovaries in hypothyroid rats by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) has been studied for many years. A complete understanding of this phenomenon requires information regarding the circulating levels of the hormones of the hypophyseal-gonadal axis. In this study, serum prolactin ( PRL), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol, testosterone, and progesterone were measured by radioimmunoassay at intervals during the 40-day period in which large ovarian cysts were induced in hypothyroid rats by daily injections of hCG. After 20 injections, ovaries increased in weight 10-fold, and well-developed ovarian cysts were present, accompanied by lutein tissue; cyst development continued for the subsequent 20 days of hCG. Both PRL and LH rose during the first 5 days of treatment and were maintained at high levels from day 20 on. The pattern of change of gonadal steroids showed greater increases with hCG in hypothyroid than in euthyroid rats. Levels of estradiol in hypothyroid, hCG-injected rats increased in parallel to ovarian hypertrophy, whereas progesterone was high in initial stages and then declined. Testosterone increased in both euthyroid and hypothyroid animals, with no clear pattern coincident with cyst formation. The data suggest that the formation of polycystic ovaries in the hypothyroid rat is associated with high levels of PRL and LH followed by elevations of estradiol, which may serve to maintain continuous PRL, as well as LH, stimulation of the ovary.[1]


  1. Circulating hormone concentrations in hypothyroid rats with induced polycystic ovaries. Lee, M.T., Adams, W.C., Bruot, B.C. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. (1991) [Pubmed]
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