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We have measured secretory patterns of inhibin A, B, total alpha inhibin, pro-alphaC inhibin and oestradiol in women following pituitary suppression who were randomised into two groups to receive either urinary gonadotrophin (25:75 IU/ampoule of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH; Normegon; n = 11) or recombinant (r)FSH (75 IU/ampoule of FSH alone, n = 16). The women were of similar age (approximately 33 years) and length of infertility (approximately 4 years) and had a normal endocrine evaluation. Plasma FSH, LH, oestradiol, inhibin A, B, pro-alphaC and total alpha inhibin were measured by immunoassay prior to and following gonadotrophin stimulation. Immunoactive FSH, LH and oestradiol blood concentrations following pituitary down regulation were similar in the two groups being <2.0, <3.6 IU/l and <82 pmol/l respectively. The units of FSH given (2230 versus 2764 IU; Normegon versus rFSH), duration of treatment (9.1 versus 9.4 days) and number of follicles of > or =14mm on the day of human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) administration (17 versus 14) were also similar. Inhibin A or B concentrations rose similarly during Normegon or rFSH administration, peaking at days 9-11. Total alpha and pro-alphaC inhibin concentrations were lower (P < 0.05) in the rFSH group during days 10 and 11 of treatment being 18.9 +/- 15.9 ng/ml (Normegon) and 4.6 +/- 2.8 ng/ml (rFSH) for total alpha inhibin and 8.5 +/- 6.8 ng/ml (Normegon) and 2.8 +/- 1.6 ng/ml (rFSH) for pro-alphaC inhibin on day 10. Overall, higher total alpha inhibin concentrations were associated with more mature follicles and oocytes, greater fertilization rates and better quality embryos. We conclude that inhibin A and B secretion was similar in both groups and is primarily controlled by FSH, whereas total alpha inhibin and pro-alphaC increased preferentially in the Normegon group over the rFSH group, indicating that they are, in part, stimulated by LH.


Journal article


Hum Reprod

Publication Date





1092 - 1097


Adult, Estradiol, Female, Fertilization in Vitro, Follicle Stimulating Hormone, Humans, Inhibins, Luteinizing Hormone, Pregnancy, Prospective Studies, Protein Precursors, Recombinant Proteins