Author(s): Luisi S, Florio P, Reis FM, Petraglia F
Abstract Share this page
Abstract A great deal of new information has arisen in the recent years concerning inhibin physiology and clinical relevance in reproductive medicine. It is now recognized that the two inhibin isoforms, named inhibin A and inhibin B, are produced by the gonads in the course of gamete maturation and in women have a different pattern of secretion throughout the menstrual cycle. Since inhibins are also produced by placenta and fetal membranes, it has been suggested that there is an involvement in physiological adaptation of pregnancy. Evidence from several sources has underlined the clinical usefulness of the measurement of inhibin-related proteins in the diagnosis and follow-up of different fertility disturbances and early pregnancy viability. In the male, inhibin B is produced in the testis, principally by the Sertoli cells. Inhibin B expression and secretion are positively correlated with Sertoli cell function, sperm number, and spermatogenic status and are negatively correlated with FSH. This review covers the most recent advances on the role of inhibins in human reproductive function. Considerable progress in the understanding of inhibin physiology has resulted from selective measurement of the two inhibin molecular forms, named inhibin A and B. Newly recognized alterations of inhibin levels in gynaecological diseases as well as in normal and pathological pregnancy are discussed, with particular emphasis on the potential clinical usefulness of assessing inhibin levels in serum and other biological fluids.
This article was published in Hum Reprod Update
and referenced in JBR Journal of Clinical Diagnosis and Research