The effect of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists on adrenocorticotropin and cortisol secretion in adult premenopausal women

Ellen E. Wilson, Bertis B. Little, William Byrd, Elizabeth Mcgee, Bruce R. Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


GnRH agonists are known to suppress LH, FSH, and subsequent ovarian estradiol production by down-regulation of pituitary gonadotropin receptors. Previous investigations have demonstrated that GnRH agonists also suppress GHRH-stimulated GH release in normal men and women and PRL levels in subjects with hyperprolactinemia. Little is known about the effects of GnRH agonists on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The purpose of the present investigation was to determine the secretion of ACTH and cortisol after an iv infusion of hCRH in control women (n = 11) and in women undergoing treatment with GnRH agonists (n = 10). The plasma and serum levels of ACTH and cortisol increased after infusion of CRH in all women. The basal and CRH-stimulated plasma levels of ACTH and cortisol at each time point were not statistically different between GnRH agonist-treated women and controls. Thus, the chronic use of GnRH agonists is known to suppress the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis and is associated with GH and PRL suppression as well, but does not apparently alter the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-164
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1993


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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