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Adrenarche and skeletal maturation during luteinizing hormone releasing hormone analogue suppression of gonadarche.

By M E Wierman, D E Beardsworth, J D Crawford, J F Crigler, M J Mansfield, H H Bode, P A Boepple, D C Kushner and W F Crowley


During puberty the effects of adrenal androgens upon skeletal maturation are obscured by the influence of gonadal steroids. Suppression of gonadarche with an analogue of luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRHa) affords an opportunity to examine the onset and progression of adrenarche in the absence of pubertal levels of gonadal steroids in a controlled fashion and to explore the relationship between adrenal androgens and the rate of epiphyseal maturation. In 29 children with central precocious puberty, gonadarche was suppressed with LHRHa administration for 1-4 yr. During LHRHa exposure, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHAS) levels, as an index of adrenal maturation, were constant or increased in an age-expected manner. The change in bone age for change in chronologic age decreased from 1.7 +/- 0.1 to 0.49 +/- 0.05 (P = 0.00005), indicating that the LHRHa-induced return to a prepubertal gonadal steroid environment was associated with a slowing of skeletal maturation. DHAS levels were correlated with the rate of skeletal advancement before (r = 0.57, P = 0.001) and during 12 to 48 mo of exposure to LHRHa (r = 0.52, P = 0.003). A negative correlation of DHAS values with subsequent increases in predicted mature height was observed (r = -0.49, P = 0.007). Thus, in children with central precocious puberty, adrenarche progressed normally during LHRHa suppression of gonadarche. In children with the onset of progression of adrenarche during maintenance of a prepubertal gonadal steroid milieu, there was less evidence than in preadrenarchal children of a restraint upon skeletal maturation. These data suggest that adrenal androgens contribute importantly to epiphyseal advancement during childhood

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1986
DOI identifier: 10.1172/jci112265
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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