Acute stress is known to increase LH secretion and the release of central norepinephrine (NE) in intact rats. Studies were performed to analyse the role of catecholamines in acute stress-induced LH release in male rats. Injection of α-methyl-p-tyrosine (αMPT) and diethyldithiocarbamate (DDC), catecholamine synthesis inhibitors, significantly decreased both hypothalamic concentration of NE and serum LH. Restraint for 30 min evoked an increase in serum LH in saline-treated rats, whereas αMPT and DDC administration blocked the stress-induced LH release. The effects of α1-, α2- and β-adrenoreceptor antagonists on the LH response to restraint stress were also studied. Propranolol treatment did not modify serum LH in either unstressed or stressed rats. The two α-adrenergic receptor antagonists prazosin and yohimbine prevented the restraint-induced LH release; however, prazosin but not yohimbine significantly decreased the serum concentration of LH in unstressed rats. These data suggest that the acute stress-induced increase in LH secretion is mediated through the activation of α2-adrenergic receptors.
Journal of Endocrinology (1995) 144, 511–515