To investigate the nature of androgen feedback mechanisms in normal men, we studied the hypothalamo-pituitary responses to administration of a potent, highly selective nonsteroidal androgen receptor antagonist, flutamide HC1 (1 g/ day, orally, for 3 days). The impact of reversible blockade of endogenous androgen action was assessed in 11 normal men by analyzing quantitative alterations in specific pulsatile properties of LH secretion basally (hypothalamic regulation) and after 2 (n = 6) consecutive iv pulses of exogenous GnRH (pituitary responsiveness). Androgen blockade resulted in significant increases in 1) 12-h mean and integrated serum immunoactive LH concentrations (P = 0.01), 2) LH pulse frequency (P = 0.01), and 3) mean interpulse (valley) serum LH concentrations (P = 0.02) and maximal LH peak heights (P = 0.01). Additionally, there were significant decreases in LH interpulse interval (P = 0.02), LH peak duration (P = 0.02), and interpeak valley duration (P = 0.02). The augmented LH pulsatility reflected enhanced hypothalamic activity, since 1) pituitary secretory responses to exogenous GnRH pulses were not altered, and 2) multiple parameter deconvolution disclosed an increased number of computer-resolved LH secretory bursts generated per 12 h, with no changes in the apparent half-duration of LH secretory impulses or the calculated mass of LH released per secretory burst. We conclude that endogenous androgens act selectively to modulate the number of spontaneous LH secretory bursts in man.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical