Mechanisms of altered LH secretion in neonatally oestrogenized male rats

in Journal of Endocrinology
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It is well known that the control of LH secretion depends on the steroid milieu during the postnatal period. In this study LH secretion was analysed in adult male rats injected neonatally with 500 μg oestradiol benzoate (1) after orchidectomy, (2) after selective elimination of androgens by destruction of Leydig cells with ethylene dimethane sulphonate (EDS), and (3) after removal in orchidectomized animals of Silastic capsules containing testosterone. In addition, (4) in vivo and in vitro LH secretion in response to LHRH agonist and antagonists, (5) the hypothalamic LHRH content, (6) the basal and stimulated in vitro LHRH release, and (7) the LH responses after administration of naloxone (2 mg/kg), α-methyl-p-tyrosine (α-MPT; 250 mg/kg), N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA, 15 mg/kg) or kainic acid (KA; 15 mg/kg) were also examined. Our data indicated that (1) the LH response after orchidectomy, after EDS administration and after removal of Silastic capsules containing testosterone was diminished in oestrogenized male rats, (2) the pituitaries from oestrogenized males retained responsiveness to LHRH, (3) hypothalamic LHRH content was reduced in oestrogenized males, but the hypothalamus from oestrogenized males released more LHRH than those of control groups both under basal conditions or after depolarization, (4) α-MPT decreased LH secretion only in oestrogenized males, and (5) NMDA and KA stimulated LH only in oestrogenized males. We conclude that in oestrogenized male rats the loss of sensitivity to the negative feedback action of testosterone on LH secretion was not due to decreased pituitary responsiveness to LHRH stimulation or to the inherent damage of LHRH neurones. In contrast, changes in the mechanisms governing LHRH release seem to be involved. A lack of activation of the excitatory noradrenergic and aminoacidergic systems seems to be part of the neurochemical basis of altered gonadotrophin secretion in neonatally oestrogenized male rats.

Journal of Endocrinology (1995) 147, 43–50


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