Effects of oestradiol, progesterone and androstenedione on the pulsatile secretion of luteinizing hormone in ovariectomized ewes during spring and autumn

G. B. Martin, R. J. Scaramuzzi, J. D. Henstridge

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Abstract

The effects of oestradiol-17β, androstenedione, progesterone and time of year on the pulsatile secretion of LH were tested in ovariectomized Merino ewes (n = 32). The steroids were administered by small subcutaneous implants, and the LH pulses were observed in samples taken at intervals of 15 min for 12 h in spring 1979, autumn 1980 and spring 1980, seasons corresponding to successive periods of anoestrus, breeding season and anoestrus. During spring, oestradiol alone was able to reduce the frequency of the LH pulses, while progesterone, either alone or in combination with oestradiol, had little effect. During autumn, on the other hand, neither oestradiol nor progesterone could significantly reduce the frequency of the pulses when administered independently, whereas the combined treatment was very effective. Androstenedione had no significant effect on pulse frequency at either time of the year, either alone or in any combination with oestradiol and progesterone. The basal levels of LH, over which the pulses are superimposed, were reduced by oestradiol alone in both seasons. Progesterone alone had no consistent effects, but interacted significantly with oestradiol and this combined treatment maintained low basal levels most effectively at all times. Androstenedione had no significant effect. The amplitude of the pulses increased throughout the course of the experiment. Within seasons, the amplitudes were significantly higher in the presence of oestradiol and progesterone, but were not significantly affected by androstenedione. It was concluded that certain of the ovarian steroids exert negative feedback on the tonic secretion of LH primarily by reducing the frequency of the pulses, and that the changes in LH secretion attributable to season and phases of the oestrous cycle can be accounted for entirely by the responses of the hypothalamus to oestradiol and progesterone. The role of the androstenedione secreted by the ovary in the ewe remained obscure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-193
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Volume96
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1983

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