Luteinizing hormone pulse characteristics in depressed women

Am J Psychiatry. 1997 Oct;154(10):1454-5. doi: 10.1176/ajp.154.10.1454.


Objective: Luteinizing hormone (LH) pulse characteristics in depressed and normal women were compared to determine whether hypothalamic dysregulation in depression extends to the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis.

Method: The subjects were 10 depressed and 13 normal comparison women admitted to a clinical research center. For each woman, an intravenous line was started and blood was withdrawn every 10 minutes for 8 hours. Blood samples were assayed for LH and LH pulse characteristics determined by using the computerized cluster algorithm of Veldhuis and Johnson.

Results: The depressed women differed significantly from the comparison women in LH pulse amplitude, rhythmicity, and area under the curve.

Conclusions: Major depressive disorder is associated with abnormal regulation of luteinizing hormone. Gonadotropin regulation may provide a hormonal link between major depressive disorder and impaired fertility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Depressive Disorder / blood*
  • Depressive Disorder / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Fertility / physiology
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / metabolism
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / physiopathology
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood*
  • Luteinizing Hormone / metabolism
  • Luteinizing Hormone / physiology


  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Luteinizing Hormone