Because of the microheterogeneities of gonadotropins, measurement of immunoreactivity of these glycoproteins does not necessarily reflect changes in their bioactivity. In addition, LH bioactivities in human samples analyzed by a rodent LH bioassay have been discordant with findings based on human granulosa-luteal cells. We have isolated a human LH/choriogonadotropin (CG) receptor cDNA and expressed the recombinant protein. Using 293 cells permanently transfected with the human LH receptor cDNA and a luciferase reporter gene driven by a cAMP-dependent promoter, we have developed a luminescence LH/CG bioassay. After cells were treated with human LH or CG for 20 h, luciferase activity was measured through use of a luminometer. Luciferase activity in the cells was increased in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast, treatment with FSH, thyroid-stimulating hormone, prolactin, growth hormone, adrenocorticotropin, insulin, prostaglandins, and several neurotransmitters had no effect. Because treatment with basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) caused significant increases in basal luciferase activity, a fixed amount of bFGF was included in all reactions. Incubation with 0.1 to 30 microliters serum from women during different physiological states stimulated the luciferase activity in parallel with the hCG standard curve. In 4 conception cycles, bioactive LH/hCG levels began to increase 2 wk after the midcycle LH surge, followed by a logarithmic increase from 22 days on. Due to the lack of a homologous RIA for measuring CG levels in monkeys, we analyzed serum bioactive monkey CG (mCG) in macaque during early pregnancy. Bioactive mCG was detected about 12 days after the midcycle LH surge and fertile mating and persisted until Days 21-23, followed by a decline.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
1993. Vol. 49, no 6, 1310-6 p.