The role of prostaglandins in reproductive physiology is reviewed with particular emphasis on their possible importance in ovulation in humans. A possible interaction between gonadal steroids, biogenic amines and prostaglandins at hypothalamic-pituitary level, in relation to the release of luteinizing hormone releasing factor, and LH, is discussed. Anomalies regarding the role of oestrogens in LH release are noted, and it is suggested that high oestrogen levels may release prostaglandins from the uterus and/or centrally in humans, in connection with the mid-cycle LH surge and ovulation. A hypothetical role for prostaglandins in sexual behaviour and premenstrual changes is discussed.
The hypotheses open up new areas for clinical research to establish the role of prostaglandins in human endocrinology. The need for measurement of prostaglandin metabolites in blood and urine is emphasized.
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