To investigate the nature of neuroendocrine disturbances of the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis in idiopathic male infertility, we studied 14 infertile men with oligoasthenozoospermia (OLIGO) and 15 age-, body mass index-, and community-matched euspermic controls by blood withdrawal at 10- min intervals for 12 h to encompass basal 18-h) and exogenous GnRH-stimulated (4-h) pulsatile release of LB and FSH (by immunoradiometric assay) as well as testosterone (by RIA). Deconvolution analysis was used to estimate endogenous LH and FSH half-lives, secretory burst frequency, amplitude, duration, and mass. OLIGO men exhibited normal serum concentrations of total, free, and percent dialyzable testosterone and estradiol, but distinct dynamic alterations within the LH and FSH axes; namely (P< 0.05), 1) a prolonged half-life of LH (OLIGO, 95 ± 19 min; control, 80 ± 9.3 min) and a reduced half-life of FSH (OLIGO 260 ± 79 min; control, 320 ± 93 min); 2) a low LH, but normal FSH, secretory burst frequency (OLIGO, 12 ± 3.4; control, 15 ± 3.0 LH pulses/day); 3) a decreased serum testosterone peak frequency (OLIGO, 15 ± 4.3; control, 21 ± 3.2 peaks/day); and 4) an amplified mass of LH (1.1- to 1.3-fold higher in OLIGO) and FSH (2.4- to 2.7-fold higher in OLIGO) secreted per burst basally as well as after GnRH injection. These disturbances were readily distinguishable from the neuroendocrine dysregulation described in other states of male hypogonadotropism (e.g. uremia, fasting, and aging).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical