Alterations in sex steroids and gonadotropins in post-menopausal women subsequent to long-term mifepristone administration
Heikinheimo,Oskari; Ranta,Sirpa; Grunberg,Steven M.; Spitz,Irving M.
Steroids 65(10-11): 831-836
Publication date: 2000
Long-term administration of progesterone antagonists (PAs) and progesterone receptor modulators (PRMs) has been proposed as a novel hormonal therapy for various hormone dependent maladies. We studied the long-term endocrine effects of mifepristone on the kinetics of estradiol (E) and its precursors, and on gonadotropin levels in five postmenopausal women treated for unresectable meningioma with mifepristone [200 mg/day] for at least 15 months. Serum samples were analyzed for LH, FSH and SHBG with fluoroimmunoassay; androstenedione (A), testosterone (T), estrone (E) and E were measured with radioimmunoassay (RIA). Serum levels of mifepristone were measured using both RIA and high performance-liquid chromatoraphy (HPLC). Serum levels (mean ± SD) of LH and FSH were suppressed from pretreatment values of 32 ± 16 and 65 ± 30 IU/l to 13 ± 7 and 33 ± 16 IU/l at 6 months (P < 0.05), respectively. Serum (mean ± SD) A, T, E, and E were increased from initial values of 6.9 ± 0.9 nmol/l, 1.2 ± 0.3 nmol/l, 77 ± 25 pmol/l, and 29 ± 14 pmol/l to 6 month values of 13.1 ± 5.6 nmol/l, 1.8 ± 0.6 nmol/l, 178 ± 60 pmol/l, and 45 ± 22 pmol/l (n.s.). The correlation coefficients between the levels of A, T, E, and E were statistically significant, whereas the ratios of T/A, E/A, E/E, and E/T remained unchanged. The levels of SHBG remained stable, and ranged from 48 ± 10 to 65 ± 9 nmol/l (mean ± SD). Thus, prolonged mifepristone treatment marginally increased the serum levels of A, T, E and E. These effects of mifepristone are likely due to its antiglucocorticoid effect and thus increased secretion of adrenal A. Serum levels of LH and FSH declined. The serum levels of gonadotropins and those of T, E and E were inversely, yet significantly, correlated. Therefore the decrease in LH and FSH might reflect the slightly increased levels of T, E and E. However, the lack of change in SHBG and the low E levels suggest that enhanced systemic estrogen effects are unlikely during long-term mifepristone treatment.