Luteinizing hormone secretion and pulse patterning is unaffected by disrupted deep sleep in pubertal children, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Pubertal children showed no differences in mean luteinizing hormone levels, pulse frequency or pulse amplitude when deep sleep was disrupted compared with when it was not, reported Natalie Shaw, MD, MMSc, of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues.
Luteinizing hormone secretion marks the reactivation of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone pulse generator. During puberty, luteinizing hormone secretion occurs initially only during sleep, and it occurs most frequently during deep sleep. The researchers sought to determine if disrupting deep sleep had an effect on luteinizing hormone pulses.
The study included 14 healthy pubertal children aged 11.3 to 14.1 years. Each child underwent two overnight studies with polysomnography and frequent blood sampling, one with and the other without deep sleep disruption through auditory stimuli. The researchers delivered an average of 68 auditory stimuli to disrupt deep sleep, limiting deep sleep to periods of 1.3 minutes on average compared with the normal 7.1 minutes.
The researchers found no differences in mean luteinizing hormone levels (3.2 IU/L), luteinizing hormone pulse frequency (0.6 pulses per hour) or luteinizing hormone pulse amplitude (2.8 IU/L) between the two nights.
They also noted that a significant predictor of luteinizing hormone pulse onset was the accumulation of deep sleep during the 20 minutes before a luteinizing hormone pulse, whether consolidated or fragmented.
These results indicate that even fragmented deep sleep is strongly tied to the activation of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone pulse generator.
Results: An average of 68.1 ±10.7 (± SE) auditory stimuli were delivered to interrupt deep sleep during the disruption night, limiting deep sleep to only brief episodes (average length disrupted 1.3±0.2 min vs normal 7.1±0.8 min, p<0.001), and increasing the number of transitions between NREM, REM, and wake (disrupted 274.5±33.4 vs. normal 131.2±8.1, p=0.001). There were no differences in mean LH (normal: 3.2±0.4 vs. disrupted: 3.2±0.5 IU/L), LH pulse frequency (0.6±0.06 vs. 0.6±0.07 pulses/hr), or LH pulse amplitude (2.8±0.4 vs 2.8±0.4 IU/L) between the two nights. Poisson process modeling demonstrated that the accumulation of deep sleep in the 20 min before an LH pulse, whether consolidated or fragmented, was a significant predictor of LH pulse onset (p<0.001).