Christopher McCartney

Christopher R. McCartney, MD
Professor of Medicine, Endocrinology and MetabolismDr. Christopher McCartney, MD


  • Undergraduate: B.S. (Biology), Mississippi College, Clinton, MS
  • Graduate: M.D., University of Mississippi School of Medicine, Jackson, MS
  • Internal Medicine Residency, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS
  • Endocrinology Fellowship, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA
  • Graduate: M.S. (Health Evaluation Sciences/Clinical Research), University of Virginia Health System

Research interests:

The long-term goal of our clinical (human subject) research is to understand the cause(s) of abnormal gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) pulses and abnormal gonadotropin secretion in adolescent and adult polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Specific goals of our group include elucidation of the role of progesterone in directing GnRH/LH secretion and Graph of Luteinizing Hormone vs. timemechanisms controlling wake vs. sleep-associated GnRH/LH pulse frequency in peripubertal girls and women, both in the presence and absence of hyperandrogenemia. Using protocols of frequent hormone sampling and formal sleep analysis, we are testing a working model that involves the primacy of sex steroid negative feedback in the control of GnRH/LH pulse frequency when awake, but the relative inability of sex steroids to influence GnRH/LH pulse frequency during sleep. In addition, we are pursuing studies to assess potential defects in sex steroid-mediated gonadotropin surge generation (positive feedback) in adolescents/women with hyperandrogenemia/PCOS. Moreover, we continue to pursue studies designed to elucidate mechanisms underlying obesity-associated hyperandrogenemia in peripubertal girls.

Our work is currently funded by NIH R01 HD102060 (Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD, “Role of Androgens in the Neuroendocrine Dysfunction of Nascent PCOS,” September 2019–June 2024).

Recent research fellows have included Su Hee Kim, MD (previously supported by NIH F32 HD088047 [2017-2018] and now supported as a faculty member by NIH K23 HD098319 [2019-2024] and Jessica Lundgren, MD (supported by NIH F32 HD091951 [2017-2019]). Although our trainees contribute to all ongoing studies, prospective new fellows could focus on one of the following areas: (1) the impact of sleep and hyperandrogenemia on sex steroid (progesterone) negative feedback regulation of GnRH pulse frequency; (2) the impact of hyperandrogenemia on estradiol- and progesterone-mediated gonadotropin surge generation (positive feedback); and (3) mechanisms underlying obesity-associated hyperandrogenemia.

Dr. Christopher McCartney’s PubMed Publications

A selection of recent publications (2016-2022)

Note: The names of former fellows are italicized.

  • McCartney CR, Corrigan MD, Drake MT, El-Hajj Fuleihan G, Korytkowski MT, Lash RW, Lieb DC, McCall AL, Muniyappa R, Piggott T, Santesso N, Schünemann HJ, Wiercioch W, McDonnell ME, Murad MH. Enhancing the trustworthiness of Endocrine Society’s clinical practice guidelines. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2022 [in press]
  • Kim SH, Lundgren JA, Patrie JT, Burt Solorzano CM, McCartney CR. Acute progesterone feedback on gonadotropin secretion is not demonstrably altered in estradiol-pretreated women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Physiol Rep 2022;10:e15233
  • McCartney CR, Campbell RE, Marshall JC, Moenter SM. The role of gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons in polycystic ovary syndrome. J Neuroendocrinol 2022;00:e13093 (online ahead of print)
  • Esquivel-Zuniga R, Kirschner CK, McCartney CR , Burt Solorzano CM. Non-PCOS hyperandrogenic disorders in adolescents. Semin Reprod Med 2022 Jan 20; doi: 10.1055/s-0041-1742259 (online ahead of print)
  • McCartney CR. Higher-level modulation of GnRH secretion: progress toward next-generation reproductive treatments? J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2021;106:e3272-e3274
  • Burt Solorzano CM, McCartney CR. Polycystic ovary syndrome: Ontogeny in adolescence. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2021;50:25-42
  • McCartney CR, Campbell RE. Abnormal GnRH pulsatility in polycystic ovary syndrome: Recent insights. Curr Opin Endocr Metab Res 2020;12:78-84
  • Burt Solorzano CM, Knudsen KL, Anderson AD, Hutchens EG, Collins JS, Patrie JT, Marshall JC, McCartney CR. Insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, and LH: relative roles in peripubertal obesity-associated hyperandrogenemia. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2018;103:2571-2582
  • Kim SH, Burt Solorzano CM, McCartney CR. Progesterone administration does not acutely alter LH pulse secretion in the mid-follicular phase in women. Physiol Rep 2018;6(7):e13680
  • Lu C, Hutchens EG, Farhi LS, Bonner HG, Suratt PM, McCartney CR. Influence of sleep stage on sleep-associated LH pulse initiation in normal mid- to late follicular phase women and in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Neuroendocrinology 2018;107:60-72
  • Kim SH, Lundgren JA, Bhabha R, Collins JS, Patrie JT, Burt Solorzano CM, Marshall JC, McCartney CR. Progesterone-mediated inhibition of the GnRH pulse generator: differential sensitivity as a function of sleep status. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2018;103:1112–1121
  • Lundgren JA, Kim SH, Burt Solorzano CM, McCartney CR, Marshall JC. Progesterone suppression of LH pulse frequency in adolescent girls with hyperandrogenism: effects of metformin. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2018;103:263-270
  • McCartney CR, Marshall JC. Neuroendocrinology of Reproduction. (Chapter 1) In Strauss JF and Barbieri RL (eds), Yen & Jaffe’s Reproductive Endocrinology: Physiology, Pathophysiology, and Clinical Management, 8th edition, Elsevier Saunders, Philadelphia, PA, 2018
  • Burt Solorzano CM, Helm KD, Patrie JT, Shayya RF, Cook-Andersen HL, Chang RJ, McCartney CR, Marshall JC. Increased adrenal androgens in overweight peri-pubertal girls. J Endocr Soc 2017;1:538-552
  • Hutchens EG, Ramsey KA, Howard LC, Abshire MY, Patrie JT, McCartney CR. Progesterone has rapid positive feedback actions on LH release but fails to reduce LH pulse frequency within 12 hours in estradiol-pretreated women. Physiol Rep 2016;4(16):e12891
  • McCartney CR, Marshall JC. CLINICAL PRACTICE. Polycystic ovary syndrome. N Engl J Med 2016;375:54-64
Link to Dr. McCartney’s School of Medicine research page