The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za
Hydroxylation of oestrogens in the 2 or 4 positions leads to the formation of catechol oestrogens. These compounds are physiologically active in animals, especially in the control of gonadotropin secretion. Physiological activity can be ascribed to either an oestrogenic action or interaction with the catecholaminergic systems. These compounds are also formed in human subjects. Surprisingly high levels are found in the urine. The peri-ovulatory peak in urinary catechol oestrogen excretion is compatible with a role for these compounds in the control of gonadotropin secretion.
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