The effects of estrogen and progesterone on blood glutamate levels during normal pregnancy in women

Svetlana Tsesis, Benjamin Fredrick Gruenbaum, Sharon Ohayon, Matthew Boyko, Shaun Even Gruenbaum, Yoram Shapira, Adi Weintraub, Alexander Zlotnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine whether changes in estrogen and progesterone levels observed during normal pregnancy influence blood glutamate levels. One-hundred and sixteen pregnant women were divided into three groups based on gestational age: group 1 included women in their first trimester, group 2 included women in their second trimester, and group 3 included women in their third trimester. A single venous blood sample was collected and analyzed for concentrations of estrogen, progesterone, glutamate-pyruvate transaminase (GPT), glutamate-oxaloacetate transaminase (GOT), and glutamate. Concentrations of blood glutamate were significantly lower during the second trimester (p<0.001) and third trimester (p<0.001). Blood glutamate levels were inversely correlated with levels of estrogen and progesterone throughout pregnancy (p<0.001). Levels of GOT and GPT remained stable during the course of pregnancy, apart from a moderate reduction in GPT during the third trimester. Increases in estrogen and progesterone levels during advanced stages of pregnancy were inversely correlated with maternal blood glutamate concentrations. Once a maximal blood glutamate-reducing effect was achieved, any additional estrogen and progesterone had a negligible effect on blood glutamate. This study demonstrates the glutamate-reducing effects of estrogen and progesterone, which is most likely not mediated by a GOT/GPT conversion mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)912-916
Number of pages5
JournalGynecological Endocrinology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2013


  • Estrogen
  • Glutamate
  • Neuroprotection
  • Pregnancy
  • Progesterone


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