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      Evaluation of the true precocious puberty rats induced by neonatal administration of Danazol: Therapeutic effects of nourishing "Yin"- removing "Fire" Chinese herb mixture

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          Nourishing "Yin"-Removing "Fire" Chinese Herb Mixture, a traditional herb-based formulation, has been successfully used for the management of idiopathic true precocious puberty (IPP) for more than thirty years. Precocious puberty rat model by neonatal administration of Danazol was used to investigate the effects of the herb mixture on the advanced sexual development of the rats, and the expression of hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which is the important regulator for the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis, particularly at puberty.


          Female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into five groups: intact normal (N), IPP model (M), vehicle with no IPP (V), IPP model exposed to herb mixture (HM) and IPP model exposed to saline (S). Rats at 5 days of age were given a single subcutaneous injection of 300 microgram of Danazol dissolved in 25 microliter vehicle of propylene glycol-ethanol (1:1, v/v), to establish the precocious puberty model. From the day 15, rats in HM and S groups were continuously fed with either Nourishing "Yin"-Removing "Fire" Chinese Herb Mixture 2 ml or saline 2 ml, until 3 consecutive regular estrous cycles were established. The day of vaginal opening and the day of setup regular estrous cycle of the rats were observed. Blood concentration of estrogen was determined by radioimmunoassay. Immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR analysis were used to explore the expression of GnRH.


          The day of vaginal opening and first estrous showed significant advancement in M compared with N and V (p < 0.05, respectively). The blood estrogen level increased significantly in M compared with those in other groups (about 28 days of age, at the time of vaginal opening in M rats) (p < 0.05, respectively). GnRH cells in rostral medial septum (MS), Broca diagonal band nucleus (DBB) and the medial preoptic area (MPOA), were calculated. The number in M was less than those in N and V (p < 0.05, respectively). The number was significantly higher in HM than that in M (p < 0.05). The GnRH mRNA expression increased significantly in M compared with that in N and V (p < 0.05).


          The true precocious puberty model by neonatal administration of Danazol in female rats showed augmented expression of hypothalamic GnRH; the Nourishing "Yin"-Removing "Fire" Chinese Herb Mixture down-regulated the increased GnRH expression, and significantly delayed the sexual development of the precocious puberty rat.

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          Most cited references 19

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          Neurobiological mechanisms of the onset of puberty in primates.

          An increase in pulsatile release of LHRH is essential for the onset of puberty. However, the mechanism controlling the pubertal increase in LHRH release is still unclear. In primates the LHRH neurosecretory system is already active during the neonatal period but subsequently enters a dormant state in the juvenile/prepubertal period. Neither gonadal steroid hormones nor the absence of facilitatory neuronal inputs to LHRH neurons is responsible for the low levels of LHRH release before the onset of puberty in primates. Recent studies suggest that during the prepubertal period an inhibitory neuronal system suppresses LHRH release and that during the subsequent maturation of the hypothalamus this prepubertal inhibition is removed, allowing the adult pattern of pulsatile LHRH release. In fact, y-aminobutyric acid (GABA) appears to be an inhibitory neurotransmitter responsible for restricting LHRH release before the onset of puberty in female rhesus monkeys. In addition, it appears that the reduction in tonic GABA inhibition allows an increase in the release of glutamate as well as other neurotransmitters, which contributes to the increase in pubertal LHRH release. In this review, developmental changes in several neurotransmitter systems controlling pulsatile LHRH release are extensively reviewed.
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            Neurobiological Mechanisms of the Onset of Puberty in Primates

             E. Terasawa (2001)
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              Puberty-timing is everything!

              Puberty is a dynamic period of physical growth, sexual maturation, and psychosocial achievement that generally begins between age 8 and 14 years. The age of onset varies as a function of sex, ethnicity, health status, genetics, nutrition, and activity level. Puberty is initiated by hormonal changes triggered by the hypothalamus. Children with variants of normal pubertal development--both early and late puberty--are common in pediatric practice. Recognizing when variations are normal and when referral for further evaluation is indicated is an important skill.

                Author and article information

                Reprod Biol Endocrinol
                Reproductive biology and endocrinology : RB&E
                BioMed Central (London )
                22 August 2005
                : 3
                : 38
                [1 ]Department of Neurobiology and Integrative Medicine, Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University (Formerly Shanghai Medical University), P.O. Box 291, 138 Yi-Xue-Yuan Road, 200032 Shanghai, P. R. China
                [2 ]Children's Hospital of Fudan University, 183 Feng-Lin Road, 200032 Shanghai, P. R. China
                Copyright © 2005 Tian et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


                Human biology


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