Desensitization of Pituitary Cells by Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone in Vitro

  • K. Helm
  • L. Kiesel
  • T. Rabe
  • B. Runnebaum
Conference paper


Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) stimulates the anterior pituitary gland to release luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). The decapeptide is secreted from the hypothalamus in a pulsatile manner in humans and animals. This secretory pattern results in a pulsatile release of gonadotropins in women (Kiesel et al. 1986 a). Continuous administration of high doses of GnRH or its potent analogues induces desensitization of the pituitary to physiological pulses of GnRH, thus leading to medical castration. This method of pituitary desensitization has already gained importance in the treatment of sex-hormone-dependent diseases, such as endometriosis, uterine leiomyoma, precocious puberty, prostrate and breast cancer, as well as in contraception (see review by Sandow 1986). The mechanism of this effect, however, has not yet been fully clarified.


Luteinizing Hormone Pituitary Cell GnRH Receptor Luteinizing Hormone Release Preincubation Period 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Helm
    • 1
  • L. Kiesel
    • 1
  • T. Rabe
    • 1
  • B. Runnebaum
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecological Endocrinology, Women’s HospitalUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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