It has been suggested that in superovulated women the endogenous LH surge is attenuated by a non-steroidal factor, called gonadotrophin surge-attenuating factor (GnSAF), which reduces gonadotrophin secretion in response to LHRH. To determine whether human follicular fluid (hFF) from superovulated women contains GnSAF activity, the secretion of LH and FSH by cultured sheep pituitaries was studied. After charcoal extraction of steroids, hFF was treated by heparin/Sepharose chromatography, which reversibly binds inhibin. The effects of whole hFF and the bound and unbound fractions on basal and LHRH-induced gonadotrophin secretion were then assessed. Steroid-free hFF significantly reduced basal FSH, but not basal LH, secretion, and significantly attenuated the LH and FSH responses to LHRH. The bound (inhibin) fraction significantly decreased both basal and LHRH-induced FSH secretion but did not affect LH release. The unbound fraction had no effect on basal LH or FSH secretion, but significantly attenuated LHRH-induced secretion of both LH and FSH. We conclude that the unbound fraction of hFF from superovulated women contains GnSAF. It has been demonstrated that GnSAF is a non-steroidal factor and its activity is distinct from that of inhibin.
- Follicular fluid
- Gonadotrophin surge-attenuating factor