Opioidergic Control of Luteinizing Hormone Release in the Female Rabbit: Influence of Ovariectomy and Steroid Replacement on Pulsatile Secretion1
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The influence of ovariectomy and steroid replacement on naloxone-induced changes in pulsatile secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH) in the female rabbit was examined. Blood samples were taken every 5 min through an indwelling catheter in the rabbit ear artery, and plasma was stored until assayed for LH by established radioimmunoassay procedures. In the intact animal, saline injection had no effect on LH secretion. Although naloxone (10 mg/kg) caused a 7-fold increase in mean LH pulse amplitude by 30 min after injection, this increase was not statistically significant because 5 of 11 animals did not respond. In animals ovariectomized 48 h previously, naloxone significantly increased LH concentration by 194% at 23 min after injection. When long-term ovariectomized rabbits were treated with estradiol benzoate and then were given naloxone, no significant increase in LH was observed, although many animals did respond. Treatment of long-term ovariectomized rabbits with 1 microgram estradiol benzoate and 100 micrograms progesterone or 1 mg testosterone propionate on Days 1 and 3 and naloxone on Day 4 resulted in a significant increase in LH 19-24 min later. Although there was an increase in pulse amplitude, no change was detected in pulse frequency after naloxone. These data suggest that the hypothesis of steroid-opioid coupling in the control of LH secretion is not applicable to the female rabbit.
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