To evaluate the circulating concentrations of the neuroactive steroids in response to an i.v. L-tryptophan (L-TP) challenge across the menstrual cycle in women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and in controls.An i.v. L-TP challenge was administered eight times during 1 month to five women with prospectively documented PMS and five age- and body mass-matched controls. Progesterone, allopregnanolone pregnenolone and 3alpha-5alpha-tetrahydrocorticosterone were assessed 15 and 0 min before, and at 30, 60 and 90 min after the challenge, across the menstrual cycle.In response to L-TP challenge, only allopregnanolone concentrations were significantly increased across the cycle and this increase was of a greater magnitude in women with PMS. Pregnenolone and 3alpha-5alpha-tetrahydrocorticosterone concentrations were not affected in women with PMS or controls after L-TP challenge.The data provide evidence for possible interaction between the serotonergic system and the neuroactive steroid, allopregnanolone. Women with PMS demonstrated a more significant increase in allopregnanolone concentrations in response to L-TP challenge, which could be due to an initial low basal serotonergic tone in the luteal phase in the PMS group.
View details for Web of Science ID 000169787700004
View details for PubMedID 11415849