The effects of neonatal monosodium l-glutamate (MSG) treatment on pituitary responsiveness to LH-releasing hormone (LHRH) and on pituitary LHRH receptors have been investigated in the intact adult female rat. Three- to four-month-old rats treated with MSG (4 mg/g body wt) on days 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 after birth had significantly reduced ovarian and pituitary weights, showed an absence or disruption of ovarian cyclicity after puberty, and had significantly higher concentrations of serum prolactin despite normal levels of LH. In-vitro pituitary LH responses to LHRH were in the normal range for one group of treated animals whilst in a second group the LH responses were markedly enhanced. In contrast, the total number of pituitary LHRH receptors were significantly reduced in all MSG-treated animals showing that the increased pituitary responsiveness of MSG-treated animals is not attributable to an increase in pituitary LHRH receptors.
J. Endocr. (1985) 107, 9–13