We assessed the time-dependent impact of estradiol on properties of the luteinizing hormone (LH) pulse signal in 12 hypoestrogenemic postmenopausal volunteers studied basally and after 1, 5, 10, and 30 d of estradiol delivery via an intravaginal Silastic ring. Computerized analysis of the plasma LH time series revealed a significant decrease in LH pulse frequency within 24 h of estrogen treatment, followed by a secondary increase (days 5 and 10), and then a sustained decline (day 30) in LH pulsatility. Estradiol also significantly suppressed incremental and maximal (but not fractional) LH pulse amplitudes in a biphasic manner. In contrast, LH peak duration was invariant until day 30 of estradiol replacement. These observations indicate that the well recognized biphasic actions of estradiol on mean serum LH concentrations can be modeled in relation to specific and time-dependent alterations in LH pulse frequency and amplitude.
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