Evidence for temporal coupling of growth hormone, prolactin, LH and FSH pulsatility overnight during normal puberty.
Dunger DB., Matthews DR., Edge JA., Jones J., Preece MA.
The patterns of secretion of GH, LH, FSH and prolactin were determined over a single night (20.00-08.00 h; 15-min sampling) in 34 normal subjects (17 male, 17 female, aged 9.1-20.9 years). Plasma GH was measured by an immunoradiometric assay and LH, FSH and prolactin by radioimmunoassay in all samples. Data were analysed by Fourier transformation and cross-correlation after stationarization. The highest mean GH levels were noted in girls at Tanner stage 2/3 and in boys at stages 4/5. Prolactin levels were highest in girls at stage 4/5 and in boys at stage 2/3. LH and FSH showed a progressive rise by puberty stage in both sexes. The dominant pulse periodicities of GH and prolactin were 150-180 min in girls and 180 min in boys. LH and FSH pulse periodicity was around 90 min in early puberty and 180 min in later puberty in both sexes. LH and prolactin pulses showed a phase relationship with GH with a lag of 30-75 min (r = 0.32; P less than 0.001) and 30 min (r = 0.47; P less than 0.0001) respectively. Generally, LH and prolactin pulses were in phase (r = 0.42; P less than 0.0001) and there was a highly significant correlation (r = 0.64; P less than 0.0001) between FSH and LH pulsatility. Whereas mean overnight concentrations and pulse periodicity of the principal pituitary hormones varied between the sexes during early puberty, by the end of puberty a dominant pulse periodicity of around 150-180 min was established and there was remarkable temporal coupling of pulsatility.