The International Journal of Romanian Society of Endocrinology / Registered in 1938

in ISI Thomson Master Journal List

January - March 2011, Volume 7, Issue 1
General Endocrinology

Capatina CA, Caragheorgheopol A, Marzan L, Toma E, Gandea C, Constantinoiu S, Coculescu M

Pituitary Hormones in Human Cerebrospinal Fluid

Acta Endo (Buc) 2011, 7 (1): 1-10
doi: 10.4183/aeb.2011.1

Introduction. The blood brain barrier (BBB) restricts the transport of hydrophilic molecules such as peptidic pituitary hormones into the brain tissue. The blood-cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a part of the BBB.\r\nAim To compare the pituitary hormone levels on the two sides of the BBB in a group of subjects without endocrine diseases.\r\nPatients and methods. We investigated, with the approval of the local ethics committee, 78 subjects without endocrine diseases. Growth hormone (GH), prolactin (PRL), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) were measured by rapid fluoroimmunoassay with Europium in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)sampled simultaneously before rachianestesia for minor surgery.\r\nResults. CSF concentrations are significantly lower than the corresponding serum ones for all hormones studied: 0.04 ? 0.009 mU/mL vs 2.29 ? 0.57 mU/mL for GH, 1.49 ? 0.078 ng/mL vs 10.07 ? 1.42 ng/mL for PRL, 0.57 ? 0.078 U/L vs 22.71 ? 3.65 U/L for FSH, 0.39 ? 0.038 U/L vs 11.11 ? 1.55 U/L for LH and 0.01 ? 0.003 &#956;U/mL vs 1.36 ? 0.17&#956;U/mL for TSH (mean ? SEM; p<0.001). The CSF/serum ratio was below 1 in the vast majority of cases (from all subjects studied we only found 3 cases with supraunitary CSF/serum ratio). The serum and CSF levels were not significantly correlated for\r\nany of the pituitary hormones. Comparing preand postmenopausal women the CSF gonadotropin levels were slightly but nonsignificantly increased after menopause,\r\ndespite marked differences in the serum concentrations: CSF FSH 1.21 ?0.17U/L after vs 0.84? 0.4U/L before menopause, CSF LH 0.60? 0.047U/L after vs 0.43? 0.14U/L before\r\nmenopause. The CSF/ serum ratio for FSH markedly decreased after menopause (0.02?0.003 vs 0.22?0.11) although the effect did not reach statistical significance. The same\r\nwas true for CSF/serum LH ratio (0.026?0.005 vs 0.09?0.002). For none of the hormones studied the CSF levels correlated with age.\r\nConclusion. Pituitary hormones are normally found in the CSF at much lower levels than in the serum. The CSF hormonal\r\nconcentrations do not significantly correlate with the serum ones.

Keywords: cerebrospinal fluid, pituitary, hormones.

Correspondence: M Coculescu MD, ?C.I.Parhon? National Institute of Endocrinology, 34-36 Aviatorilor Blvd., 011863, Bucharest, Romania, Tel/Fax: +40213198718, E-mail: