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Opioid and neurotransmitter regulation of pituitary gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptors in the ovariectomized estradiol-treated rat: role of altered GnRH secretion



Opioid and neurotransmitter regulation of pituitary gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptors in the ovariectomized estradiol-treated rat: role of altered GnRH secretion



Endocrinology 116(3): 1003-1010



An acute transient fall in the number of pituitary GnRH receptors (GnRH-R) is observed before the preovulatory gonadotropin surge in cycling rats and before the afternoon daily gonadotropin surge in ovariectomized estradiol-treated rats. In the latter model, this fall can be reproduced by administration of the opioid antagonist naloxone, whereas the opioid agonist morphine acutely increases GnRH-R. In this study we investigated the mechanisms of this opioid effect and examined the effects of other neurotransmitter substances on modulation of pituitary GnRH-R. Administration of the dopaminergic agonists bromocriptine and L-dopa or the alpha-adrenergic receptor blocker phenoxybenzamine elevated GnRH-R acutely from average basal values of 240 +/- 22 and 254 +/- 21 fmol/mg protein to maximal values of 374 +/- 49, 441 +/- 67 and 461 +/- 75 fmol/mg, respectively, whereas the alpha-adrenergic agonist clonidine transiently decreased GnRH-R to 186 +/- 19 fmol/mg. Placement of radiofrequency lesions in the mediobasal hypothalamus or pretreatment with anti-GnRH serum completely abolished the ability of both morphine and naloxone to modulate the number of GnRH-R. These data indicate that the opioid-induced modulation of pituitary GnRH-R requires an intact hypothalamus and that both dopaminergic and alpha-adrenergic neurotransmitter systems may be involved. The final step of this action probably involves acute modulation of GnRH secretion (altered frequency and/or amplitude), which results in acute transient changes in the number of pituitary GnRH-R.

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Accession: 068569155

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 2857637

DOI: 10.1210/endo-116-3-1003


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