Changes in plasma concentrations of immunoreactive inhibin in the reproductively cyclic, pregnant and ovariectomized female marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus) were measured with a heterologous radioimmunoassay. The pattern of inhibin secretion in five marmosets studied individually during four consecutive cycles was shown to resemble that of progesterone. In these animals, data were pooled according to stage of cycle on the basis of plasma progesterone concentrations. Mean values for inhibin were 5465 and 4972 U/l during the early and late follicular phase. Concentrations rose during the luteal phase to 8431, 12 246 and 12 557 U/l for the early, mid- and late luteal phase respectively. The hormonal profile of inhibin during the normal cycle is similar in both marmoset and stumptailed macaque; however, the marmoset has a 28-fold greater level of inhibin during the luteal phase.
In six marmosets in which pregnancy occurred, inhibin concentrations showed no decline at the end of the conceptual cycle and remained increased with respect to the follicular phase throughout the subsequent gestation. Inhibin levels were non-detectable (< 1000 U/l) in ovariectomized and acyclic marmosets.
These results suggest that the corpus luteum is the major source of inhibin in this New World monkey, in common with man and the Old World primates.
Journal of Endocrinology (1990) 126, 489–495