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Differential Gonadotropin Responses to N-Methyl-D,L-aspartate in Intact and Castrated Male Rats


Peripheral administration of N-methyl-D,L-aspartate (NMA), a neuroexcitatory amino acid agonist, probably stimulates LH release through an increase in endogenous LHRH secretion. In the present study, NMA and a potent LHRH antagonist were used to determine the degree to which release of FSH is similarly dependent upon the acute secretion of LHRH. A second aim was to compare responsiveness of LHRH neurons to NMA in castrated and intact male rats. Adult male rats were castrated (n = 10) or sham castrated (n = 11) on the morning of Day 0. After 8 days, rats were fitted with atrial catheters between 0900 and 1200 h; at 2100 h they received s.c. either oil vehicle or 100 micrograms of an LHRH antagonist. Starting at 0900 h on Day 9, 0.5-ml blood samples were collected every 10 min for 3 h. After 1 h of sampling each animal received i.v. 5 mg of NMA in 0.5 ml 0.9% saline. An hour later each rat received i.v. 500 ng of LHRH in 0.5 ml saline. Plasma LH, FSH, and prolactin (PRL) levels were determined by RIA. In the oil-treated sham castrates, mean plasma LH levels were increased by 110% (p < 0.01) within 10 min and remained elevated for 30 min after the injection of NMA. The profile of this LH secretory response was similar to or slightly more robust than endogenous LH pulses observed previously. The NMA-induced LH release was completely blocked by pretreatment with LHRH antagonist. In both oil- and antagonist-treated sham-castrated rats, NMA administration failed to elicit a concomitant increase in plasma FSH levels.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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