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F. TALAMANTES, R. GUZMAN, and J. LOPEZ

Division of Natural Sciences and Oakes College, Thimann Laboratories, University of California, Santa Cruz, California 95064, U.S.A.

(Received 6 May 1977)

The luteotrophic activity of human placental lactogen (HPL) in non-primates was demonstrated by its ability to maintain the induced decidual reaction in hypophysectomized pseudopregnant rats (Josimovich, Atwood & Goss, 1963). In the mouse, HPL has been reported to induce hyperaemia of corpora lutea of ovulation in non-parous mice (Kavocic, 1968). However, because of the design of the study, it was not possible to determine the duration of hyperaemia in those HPL-induced corpora lutea.

Ovarian isografts in male mice develop mature follicles that only rarely luteinize spontaneously. Such follicles luteinize upon the administration of luteinizing hormone (LH) and the resultant corpora lutea only show hyperaemia of function if a luteotrophic hormone is then given (Browning, 1968). The present investigation was undertaken to examine the hyperaemic response of ovarian isografts in

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A Martinez, R Pio, J Lopez, and F Cuttitta

Adrenomedullin (AM) is a ubiquitous peptide hormone which, among other functional roles, reduces insulin secretion in the pancreas. Recently we have described the interaction between AM and the complement regulator protein factor H, which results in mutual modulation of their respective functions. Here we identify the expression of factor H in the beta cells of the rat pancreatic islets by immunohistochemistry and multiple immunofluorescence followed by confocal microscopy. In addition, double immunogold staining under the electron microscope showed coexistence of insulin and factor H immunoreactivities within the same secretory granules; interestingly, factor H staining was found in the electron-lucent haloes whereas the insulin antibody labeled preferentially the dense cores. The existence of factor H mRNA in the pancreas was confirmed by RT-PCR and in situ hybridization. The function of factor H in the pancreas was investigated with an insulin secretion assay. Addition of factor H to freshly isolated islets in the presence of AM resulted in a further reduction in insulin secretion with a concomitant elevation of cAMP, suggesting that factor H increases AM function in glucose homeostasis. The expression of factor H in the pancreas may play other important roles such as protection against complement-mediated cell lysis.

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J. E. Sánchez-Criado, C. Bellido, F. J. López, and F. Galiot

ABSTRACT

Administration of the antiprogesterone RU486 to 4-day cyclic rats from metoestrus to pro-oestrus increases serum levels of LH while decreasing levels of FSH. If it is assumed that there is only one gonado-trophin-releasing hormone, there is no direct explanation for the decrease in FSH concentrations. The purpose of these experiments was to investigate the effect of RU486 on gonadotrophin secretion in cyclic rats during periods when the secretion of LH and FSH diverges. RU486 blunted the transient increase in FSH concentration on the afternoon of metoestrus and the compensatory ovarian hypertrophy on the next day of oestrus in unilaterally ovariectomized 4–day cyclic rats. In addition, bilateral ovariectomy reversed the effect of RU486 on the basal secretion of FSH. RU486 induced an increase in basal LH concentrations. Since ovarian inhibin decreases the basal release of FSH, and decreases in peripheral inhibin seem to be responsible for the transient rise in FSH during the oestrous cycle, the effect of RU486 on serum levels of LH and FSH during dioestrus in rats injected with a sheep anti-inhibin serum (AIS) were further evaluated. Treatment with AIS increased FSH levels in oil-treated rats without altering the levels of LH. In contrast, the effects of AIS on FSH secretion were blunted in RU486-treated rats. The results suggest that inhibin might be involved in the RU486-induced decrease of FSH secretion in cyclic rats.

Journal of Endocrinology (1992) 134, 43–49

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J. A. F. Tresguerres, L. F. Perez Mendez, A. Lopez-Calderon, and A. I. Esquifino

ABSTRACT

To study the role of testosterone on the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis, young intact male Wistar rats were given acute (24 h) or chronic (5 days) subcutaneous treatments of 500 μg testosterone propionate (TP) or vehicle alone. Plasma LH, prolactin and testosterone levels were measured both basally and after administration of LH-releasing hormone (LHRH) or human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) by means of specific radioimmunoassay systems using materials supplied by the NIADDK. After acute treatment with TP there was an increase in basal plasma testosterone concentrations and no modification in the hCG response when compared with vehicle-treated animals. No difference could be detected in basal plasma testosterone levels after the chronic treatment, but a significant reduction in the hCG response was observed. Both acute and chronic treatments with TP resulted in a significant decrease of basal plasma LH levels. A reduced LH response to LHRH in acutely treated rats and no response in the chronically treated rats was detected. Plasma prolactin levels showed an increase after both acute and chronic treatments. To evaluate the possible role of the increased plasma prolactin levels on the above modifications during TP treatment, another group of animals was treated with TP and bromocriptine (dopamine agonist) simultaneously to avoid the increase in plasma prolactin levels. In this situation, neither basal plasma LH levels nor the response to LHRH were altered when compared to vehicle-treated rats; a normal testosterone response to hCG stimulation was observed in spite of the high basal plasma testosterone levels. All these observations suggest that increased prolactin levels may exert a modulatory role on the negative feedback effect of testosterone both at the testicular and central levels.

J. Endocr. (1985) 105, 423–427

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M I Rodriguez, G Escames, L C López, J A García, F Ortiz, A López, and D Acuña-Castroviejo

Cardiac and diaphragmatic mitochondria from male SAMP8 (senescent) and SAMR1 (resistant) mice of 5 or 10 months of age were studied. Levels of lipid peroxidation (LPO), glutathione (GSH), GSH disulfide (GSSG), and GSH peroxidase and GSH reductase (GRd) activities were measured. In addition, the effect of chronic treatment with the antioxidant melatonin from 1 to 10 months of age was evaluated. Cardiac and diaphragmatic mitochondria show an age-dependent increase in LPO levels and a reduction in GSH:GSSG ratios. Chronic treatment with melatonin counteracted the age-dependent LPO increase and GSH:GSSG ratio reduction in these mitochondria. Melatonin also increased GRd activity, an effect that may account for the maintenance of the mitochondrial GSH pool. Total mitochondrial content of GSH increased after melatonin treatment. In general, the effects of age and melatonin treatment were similar in senescence-resistant mice (SAMR1) and SAMP8 cardiac and diaphragmatic mitochondria, suggesting that these mice strains display similar mitochondrial oxidative damage at the age of 10 months. The results also support the efficacy of long-term melatonin treatment in preventing the age-dependent mitochondrial oxidative stress.

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A. López-Calderón, C. Ariznavarreta, M. D. Calderón, J. A. F. Tresguerres, and M. I. Gonzalez-Quijano

ABSTRACT

The response of prolactin to chronic stress in intact, adrenalectomized and adrenomedullectomized male rats was studied. Immobilization stress in intact animals induced a significant increase in plasma concentrations of prolactin after 20 and 45 min and a significant decrease when the rats were submitted to chronic restraint (6 h daily for 4 days). Five weeks after adrenomedullectomy, plasma prolactin and corticosterone responses to chronic stress were not modified. In contrast, the inhibitory effect of chronic stress on prolactin secretion was totally suppressed by adrenalectomy. When treated with dexamethasone during the 4 days of restraint, adrenalectomized stressed rats showed similar plasma concentrations of prolactin to the intact stressed rats. These data indicate that the adrenal cortex is able to play an inhibitory role on prolactin secretion during stress only through a prolonged release of glucocorticoids.

Journal of Endocrinology (1989) 120, 269–273

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A Cremades, C Ruzafa, F Monserrat, A J López-Contreras, and R Peñafiel

Feeding mice an arginine-deficient diet decreased plasma concentrations of arginine, citrulline and ornithine in the females and arginine in the males, abolishing the sexual dimorphic pattern of these amino acids found in mice fed the standard diet. In addition, the restriction of dietary arginine produced a marked decrease in body and renal weights as well as in the activity of renal ornithine decarboxylase, decreases that were gender dependent since they were observed exclusively in males. The fact that these changes were not associated with the decrease in the circulating levels of testosterone and that the dietary arginine restriction prevented the body weight gain induced by testosterone treatment of female mice fed the standard diet indicates that dietary arginine is required for the anabolic action of androgens. Moreover, under certain conditions that could compromise the renal synthesis of arginine, as in the compensatory renal hypertrophy that follows unilateral nephrectomy, the myotrophic effect of testosterone was transiently impaired. The results also revealed that arginine deficiency produced an opposite effect in the expression of IGF-I and IGF-binding protein 1 in the liver and kidney. Taken together, our results indicate that dietary arginine may be relevant to the anabolic action of testosterone, and suggest that this effect may be mediated by changes in the insulin-like growth factor system.

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A. López-Calderón, M. I. Gonzaléz-Quijano, J. A. F. Tresguerres, and C. Ariznavarreta

ABSTRACT

A hypothalamic site of action has been hypothesized for the inhibitory effect of chronic stress on gonadotrophin secretion. The aim of the present study was to examine the temporal changes in hypothalamic LHRH content and gonadotrophin secretion during restraint stress, and the pituitary responsiveness to LHRH stimulation in chronically stressed rats. Adult male rats were killed after being restrained for 0, 20, 45, 90, 180 and 360 min or for 6 h daily over 2, 3 and 4 days. After 20–45 min of stress there was an increase in plasma concentrations of LH (P<0·01) and a decrease in hypothalamic LHRH content (P<0·01), suggesting a negative correlation between plasma LH and hypothalamic LHRH concentrations. Plasma concentrations of FSH were also increased by restraint, but the FSH response was slower and less than the plasma LH response, being significant after 90 min of restraint. Plasma LH and FSH and hypothalamic LHRH concentrations were decreased in chronically stressed rats. In rats restrained for 6 h daily over 4 days, the response of plasma gonadotrophins to administration of 500 ng LHRH was enhanced 45 min after the injection. On the basis of these observations we concluded that in the intact rat, stress may acutely stimulate LHRH and gonadotrophin secretion, and the inhibitory effect of chronic stress on plasma LH and FSH seems not to be due to a reduction in pituitary responsiveness to LHRH, but rather to a decrease in LHRH secretion.

Journal of Endocrinology (1990) 124, 241–246

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C. Ariznavarreta, M. D. Calderón, J. A. F. Tresguerres, and A. López-Calderón

ABSTRACT

In order to study the involvement of the adrenal medulla in stress-induced inhibition of gonadotrophin secretion, we measured plasma concentrations of LH, FSH and corticosterone in adult male rats subjected to chronic restraint after surgical ablation of the adrenal medulla. In intact animals, chronic restraint (6 h daily over 4 days) induced a significant (P<0.05) decrease in plasma concentrations of LH, whereas plasma concentrations of corticosterone showed the expected significant (P<0.01) increase. Adrenomedullectomy did not significantly modify basal plasma concentrations of LH or corticosterone. In these rats, there was no significant decrease of LH after stress, while the increase in corticosterone was as significant as in sham-operated animals (P<0.01). In order to confirm the role of adrenomedullary catecholamines in stress-induced gonadotrophin inhibition another group of rats was treated s.c. with the β-adrenergic blocker propranolol (2 mg/kg twice daily). These rats showed an attenuated inhibition of LH during stress similar to that observed in adrenomedullectomized rats. Levels of FSH were significantly reduced after stress in the saline-treated group, while there were no differences between stressed or unstressed rats in the propranolol-treated group. These results may be considered as evidence that medullary catecholamines, acting through β-receptors, are factors involved in gonadotrophin inhibition during chronic stress.

Journal of Endocrinology (1989) 120, 275–279

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J Santiago-Moreno, A Gómez-Brunet, A Toledano-Díaz, R Salas-Vega, F Gómez-Guillamón, and A López-Sebastián

This work examines the effect of testosterone secretion and photoperiod on seasonal changes in horn growth and sperm variables in the Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica), here used as a model for polygynous wild bovids. The hypothesis that high levels of testosterone provide an endocrine signal that inhibits horn growth in autumn was tested by assessing the effect of cyproterone acetate (CA), an anti-androgen, administered in October – coinciding with the period of natural increases in plasma testosterone concentrations – under different photoperiodic conditions (natural photoperiod and artificial long days). The persistence of horn growth during autumn in all ibexes held under the long-day photoperiodic conditions clearly shows that horn growth regulation in the mating season is primarily modulated by day length and not by a fall in testosterone concentration. A retrospectively designed second experiment involving testosterone propionate (TP) administration in April (when horns are growing) was then undertaken to confirm that high levels of testosterone do not inhibit horn growth. Overall, the results strongly suggest that the rise in testosterone secretion during the autumn mating season does not act as an endocrine signal for the arrest of horn growth, although the rate of horn growth before the mating season may be related to springtime testosterone levels. A direct relationship was seen between the rate of horn growth and the incidence of sperm abnormalities. Neither CA treatment in October nor TP administration in April affected the studied sperm variables. By contrast, CA treatment plus artificial long days in autumn had a negative effect on sperm motility and sperm morphology.