Giving a subcutaneous oestradiol implant during anoestrus to ovariectomized ewes inhibits pulsatile LH secretion. This effect results from an increased negative feedback of oestradiol and depends on the synthesis of biogenic amines, mainly from the mediobasal hypothalamus. In the present study, we examined the effect of oestradiol on the extracellular levels of amines and their metabolites. Eight ewes were sampled by microdialysis from the lateral retrochiasmatic area, including the dopaminergic A15 nucleus, during inhibition of LH secretion by long days. Two dialysis sessions were carried out on each ewe; one after a 10-day oestradiol treatment and the other one after 10 days without oestradiol treatment. Half of the ewes were first oestradiol-treated then untreated, the other half received the treatment in the reverse order.
Oestradiol caused a decline in pulsatile LH secretion without affecting the secretion of prolactin. This steroid also led to a significant increase in the levels of amine metabolites: 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, homovanillic acid and 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid in the extracellular medium. These results demonstrate the effect of oestradiol on aminergic activity as related to changes in hormonal secretions during long days (16 h of light per 24 h). Thus our data support the hypothesis that amines inhibit gonadotrophic secretion during anoestrus in the ewe and suggest that there is an activation of the aminergic neurones from the retrochiasmatic area in this regulatory mechanism.
Journal of Endocrinology (1992) 135, 421–430