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      Ovarian LHRH Receptors Increase following Lesions of the Major LHRH Structures in the Rat Brain: Involvement of a Direct Neural Pathway

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          Specific lesions of different brain structures known to contain or to be coursed by LHRH neurons have been carried out in intact cycling female rats in order to investigate the role played by central LHRH and neuronal systems in the regulation of ovarian and hypophyseal LHRH receptor (LHRH-R) levels, using the stable LHRH analog [D-Ser (TBU)<sup>6</sup>] Des-Gly<sup>10</sup>, LHRH enthylamide, buserelin. Radiofrequency lesions were placed bilaterally or unilaterally into female rats showing at least two consecutive estrous cycles, under pentobarbital anesthesia, while groups of animals were sham-operated. Bilateral lesions placed into the septal area and into the nucleus and tract of the diagonal band of Broca (DBB) resulted in a nearly 25–40% stimulation of LHRH binding activity within the ovaries and a 30% inhibition of LHRH analog binding to pituitary homogenate, while lesions placed into the medial preoptic area (MPO), where the majority of LHRH neurons are found, produced a doubling of ovarian LHRH-R accompanied by a 60% decrease of pituitary binding sites. Lesions involving the median eminence and arcuate hypothalamic nucleus, where the most conspicuous convergence of LHRH fibers occurs, produced a twofold increase in ovarian LHRH-R levels and an almost complete loss of pituitary LHRH-R binding capacity, with no change in affinity. In order to clarify the importance of direct neural signals modulating the ovarian LHRH-R concentration, lesions were placed in the right or left MPO and DBB, and the content of LHRH-R measured in right and left ovaries. Lesions placed unilaterally (right or left) produced a significant increase of LHRH-R binding activity within the ovary ipsilateral to the lesion, while a reduction or no effect was observed in the contralateral gland. Data show a marked stimulation of ovarian LHRH-R number following bilateral lesions placed in the major LHRH-containing structures, while pituitary LHRH binding sites are significantly inhibited, indicating impairment in the rate and/or amplitude of endogenous hypothalamic LHRH release. Furthermore results obtained following unilateral lesions indicate that a neural mechanism is involved in ovarian LHRH receptor induction and further reinforce our view that a direct neural connection links the brain and the ovaries.

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          Author and article information

          S. Karger AG
          28 March 2008
          : 41
          : 4
          : 321-331
          Department of aPharmacology and bHuman Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Catania, Italy
          124196 Neuroendocrinology 1985;41:321–331
          © 1985 S. Karger AG, Basel

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          Pages: 11
          Original Paper


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