Exaggerated prolactin response to thyrotropin-releasing hormone and metoclopramide in primary testicular failure

I. M. Spitz, D. LeRoith, N. Laufer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Twenty-eight severely oligospermic and azoospermic men aged 20 to 42 years were challenged with luteinizing hormone (LH)-releasing hormone (LHRH), thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), and the dopaminergic antagonist, metoclopramide, given at 30-minute intervals. According to basal gonadotropin levels, the patients were subdivided into three groups: those with severe testicular failure (basal LH >20 mIU/ml and FSH >14 mIU/ml), those with moderate testicular failure with predominant seminiferous tubule involvement (LH <20 mIU/ml and FSH >14 mIU/ml) and those with mild testicular failure (LH <20 mIU/ml and FSH <14 mIU/ml). With one exception, mean basal prolactin (PRL) levels were normal in all patients. In all three groups, however, there was an exaggerated PRL response to TRH, the response in severe and moderate testicular failure being greater than that in mild testicular failure. The response to metoclopramide was increased only in the first two groups, not in the group with mild testicular failure. When individual patients and control subjects were considered together, the peak PRL response to TRH correlated with both basal and peak gonadotropin responses to LHRH. However, the PRL responses did not correlate with 17β-estradiol, estrone, testosterone, or the estradiol-testosterone ratio. It is concluded that oligospermic and azoospermic subjects with the most severe testicular failure and the highest gonadotropin levels have the greatest PRL increases after TRH and metoclopramide, indicating that the PRL response is related to the degree of testicular failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-580
Number of pages8
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes


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