Detailed endocrinological studies were performed in the three affected kindred of a family carrying mutations of the GnRH receptor gene. All three were compound heterozygotes carrying on one allele the Arg262Gln mutation and on the other allele two mutations (Gln106Arg and Ser217Arg). When expressed in heterologous cells, both Gln106Arg and Ser217Arg mutations altered hormone binding, whereas the Arg262Gln mutation altered activation of phospholipase C. The propositus, a 30-yr-old man, displayed complete idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism with extremely low plasma levels of gonadotropins, absence of pulsatility of endogenous LH and alpha-subunit, absence of response to GnRH and GnRH agonist (triptorelin), and absence of effect of pulsatile administration of GnRH. The two sisters, 24 and 18 yr old, of the propositus displayed, on the contrary, only partial idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. They both had primary amenorrhea, and the younger sister displayed retarded bone maturation and uterus development, but both sisters had normal breast development. Gonadotropin concentrations were normal or low, but in both cases were restored to normal levels by a single injection of GnRH. In the two sisters, there were no spontaneous pulses of LH, but pulsatile administration of GnRH provoked a pulsatile secretion of LH in the younger sister. The same mutations of the GnRH receptor gene may thus determine different degrees of alteration of gonadotropin function in affected kindred of the same family.