We have tested the influence of a new calcium ion channel antagonist, diltiazem, on hypothalamic releasing hormone-stimulated secretion of LH and other anterior pituitary hormones in man. To this end, six normal men received a continuous infusion of GnRH (1 μg/min) and TRH (2 μg/min) for 3 h under three different experimental conditions: 1) saline (control) infusion; 2) iv diltiazem (0.3 mg/kg bolus dose, and 0.002 mg/kg-min) infusion for 4 h beginning 1 h before releasing hormone injection; and 3) oral diltiazem (60 mg, every 6 h) administration for 1 week before pituitary stimulation. Blood was sampled at 10-min intervals for the subsequent immunoassay of LH, FSH, TSH, PRL, and GH concentrations and at hourly intervals for the assay of plasma diltiazem concentrations by high performance liquid chromatography. Despite sustained plasma diltiazem concentrations of 80-120 ng/ml during either iv or oral drug administration, the GnRH/TRH-stimulated release of LH, FSH, TSH, and PRL or the basal secretion of GH did not differ significantly from that during saline infusion. In contrast, when these subjects underwent the same infusion schedule using a structurally dissimilar calcium influx blocker, verapamil (5-mg bolus dose and 15 mg/h, continuous infusion), there was significant suppression of the delayed component of GnRH/TRH-stimulated LH release, with simultaneous enhancement of PRL secretion. We conclude that exogenously stimulated anterior pituitary hormone secretion in man exhibits differential susceptibility to the structurally discrete calcium entry blockers diltiazem and verapamil. Moreover, the differential influence of these two calcium ion channel antagonists on gonadotropes is distinct from that described in cardiac and smooth muscle cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical