Modulation of luteinizing hormone pulse amplitude by the frequency of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone stimulation and by testosterone in castrated, hypothalamic-lesioned male rats

Petrie, E.C.; Matsumoto, A.M.; Bremner, W.J.

Biology of Reproduction 38(1): 143-149


ISSN/ISBN: 0006-3363
PMID: 3130108
DOI: 10.1095/biolreprod38.1.143
Accession: 068575145

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The frequency of spontaneous luteinizing hormone (LH) pulses is thought to be a direct result of the frequency of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) pulses from the hypothalamus. By contrast, the amplitude of spontaneous LH pulses may be controlled by several factors other than the amplitude of LHRH pulses. We tested two hypotheses: 1) that LH pulse amplitude is determined in part by the frequency of LHRH pulses of constant magnitude, and 2) that testosterone (T) exerts a direct feedback effect on the pituitary gland to regulate LH pulse amplitude. Gonadal feedback was eliminated by castrating adult male rats (n = 20). Endogenous LHRH secretion was eliminated by lesioning the medial basal hypothalamus. Serum LH levels (0.19 +/- 0.04 ng/ml RP-2, mean +/- SEM) and T levels (0.15 +/- 0.02 ng/ml), measured several weeks after hypothalamic lesioning, confirmed the hypogonadotropic hypogonadal state of the animals. During a 8-h period, unanesthetized, unrestrained animals were injected with 40-ng pulses of LHRH via catheters into the jugular vein, and blood samples for LH measurement were drawn at 10-min intervals. The LHRH pulse interval was 20 min during the first 4 h in all animals. The pulse interval was doubled to 40 min in half of the animals (n = 10) during the next 4 hours; in the other 10 animals, the pulse interval was maintained constant at 20 min throughout the study. Within both of these groups, one-half of the animals (n = 5) were infused with T to achieve a physiological level of T in serum (2.46 +/- 0.36 ng/ml at 4 h), while the other half received vehicle.