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      Involvement of Catecholaminergic Systems in the Zona incerta in the Steroidal Control of Gonadotrophin Release and Female Sexual Behaviour

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          Abstract

          Previous reports have shown that dopamine (DA) in the zona incerta (ZI) has a stimulatory effect on gonadotrophin release. We have now investigated the possibility that steroids exert their feedback effects on the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) via catecholamine systems in the ZI. Since the same steroid regimes also stimulate female sexual behaviour, the possibility that the ZI is also involved in the control of sexual activity was investigated. Lesions in the ZI increased proceptive and receptive behaviour in oestrogen-primed ovariectomised rats that exhibited a low level of lordosis in a pre-lesion test and had no effect in receptive animals. Turnover rates (TR) of DA, noradrenaline (NA) and adrenaline were measured in the ZI, preoptic area (POA), arcuate nucleus (ARC), median eminence (ME) and ventromedial nucleus in ovariectomised rats treated 54 h before with either oil, oestradiol benzoate (OB) at 5, 10 or 50 µg/rat, or 5 µg/rat OB followed by 0.5 mg/rat progesterone (P) 48 h later. The TR as measured from the decline in concentration after α-methyltyrosine and changes in DOPAC concentration were correlated with the effect of the steroids on plasma LH and lordotic activity. Confirming previous reports, NA turnover in the POA and ME was increased, and DA turnover in the ME was decreased by steroids when they enhanced LH release. DA turnover in the ARC and ME was reduced when lordosis behaviour increased. Treatment with OB plus P stimulated LH release and sexual receptivity and at the same time significantly increased DA and NA turnover in the ZI. There was no correlation between these parameters after OB alone. This report shows that the DA system in the ZI may mediate the stimulatory effect of P on LH release in OB-primed rats but is not involved in the feedback effects of oestradiol alone. NA activity in the ZI is increased after OB plus P and may therefore also be concerned with stimulating LH release. The ZI is involved in the control of sexual behaviour, as electrolytic lesions in this area enhance receptivity and proceptivity, but the catecholamine systems in the ZI do not appear to mediate this control.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          NEN
          Neuroendocrinology
          10.1159/issn.0028-3835
          Neuroendocrinology
          S. Karger AG
          0028-3835
          1423-0194
          1991
          1991
          04 April 2008
          : 53
          : 2
          : 113-123
          Affiliations
          Robert Barnes Laboratory, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, St. George’s Hospital Medical School, London, UK
          Article
          125708 Neuroendocrinology 1991;53:113–123
          10.1159/000125708
          1901630
          © 1991 S. Karger AG, Basel

          Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

          Page count
          Pages: 11
          Categories
          Original Paper

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