Plasma concentrations of GH, TSH, tri-iodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) were measured in adult rats 2 and 4 weeks after ovariectomy and ovariohysterectomy. Two weeks after ovariohysterectomy, the concentration of GH was significantly higher, but TSH and T3 concentrations were significantly lower than in rats which had been ovariectomized only. Hysterectomy had no effect on plasma GH and TSH concentrations if it was performed 2 weeks after ovariectomy.
Plasma T3 had decreased by 2 weeks after ovariectomy but returned to pretreatment levels by 4 weeks. Recovery of the plasma T3 concentration was not observed if ovariectomy was followed by hysterectomy, since a further decrease of plasma T3 occurred. Plasma T4 was not significantly influenced either by ovariectomy or by ovariohysterectomy.
Steroid-free uterine extracts given i.p. to ovariohysterectomized rats reduced plasma GH within 24 h of injection.
Increases in plasma TSH, T3 and T4 were achieved in ovariohysterectomized rats with injections of uterine extracts (from intact, oestrogen-treated or castrated rats), but the increases were not consistent for the three hormones either as regards time after injection, nor for which particular extracts were effective.
It was concluded that the uterus may contain factors which influence the GH storage and secretion and TSH-thyroid regulation in rats.