Absence of apparent circadian rhythms of gonadotropins and free α-subunit in postmenopausal women: Evidence for distinct regulation relative to other hormonal rhythms

Helene B. Lavoie, Erica E. Marsh, Janet E. Hall*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aging is associated with a decrease in gonadotropin levels in postmenopausal women (PMW) and is also associated with alterations in a number of circadian rhythms. The goals of this study were to determine the presence of circadian rhythms of gonadotropins and glycoprotein free α-subunit (FAS) in young and old PMW. Healthy, euthyroid PMW, ages 45 to 55 years (n = 11) and 70 to 80 years (n = 11), were admitted in the morning to start a 24-h constant routine of light, temperature, position, and activity. Subjects remained awake and semirecumbent for the duration of the study and were fed hourly snacks, and activity was monitored continuously. Blood was sampled every 5 min for two 8-h periods corresponding to the estimated acrophase and nadir of the temperature rhythm. Luteinizing hormone (LH) and FAS were measured in all samples and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), and cortisol in 20-min serum pools. Mean LH (p < 0.001), FSH (p < 0.002), and FAS (p < 0.002) were lower in older compared with younger PMW. Day/night differences in cortisol and TSH (p < 0.001) were present in all subjects. However, there were no day/night differences in LH in younger or older PMW or in FSH in younger or older PMW. There were no day/night differences in mean FAS in younger or older PMW or in FAS pulse frequency or amplitude. Thus, in controlled studies in which differences in cortisol and TSH were demonstrated, there were no day/night differences in LH, FSH, or FAS in PMW. These studies suggest that despite evidence of intact circadian rhythms of cortisol and TSH, gonadotropin secretion does not appear to follow a circadian pattern in PMW. Thus, the age-related decline in gonadotropin secretion in PMW is not associated with a dampening of circadian rhythmicity. The absence of day/night differences in FAS suggests that GnRH plays a more prominent role in FAS regulation than does thyrotropin-releasing hormone in PMW.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-67
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of biological rhythms
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2006

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Cortisol
  • Neuroendocrine
  • Suprachiasmatic nucleus
  • Thyrotropin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Absence of apparent circadian rhythms of gonadotropins and free α-subunit in postmenopausal women: Evidence for distinct regulation relative to other hormonal rhythms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this