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Sex Differences in Acute Luteinizing Hormone Responses to Gonadectomy Remain after Progesterone Antagonist and Dopamine Agonist Treatment


In male rats, LH pulse frequency and amplitude increase dramatically by 24 h after gonadectomy; in females they increase only slightly by this time. Mean FSH levels increase significantly in both sexes by 24 h after gonadectomy. The objectives of the present studies were to compare pulsatile LH, FSH, and prolactin (PRL) secretion in intact versus gonadectomized and in male versus female rats, and to determine whether the acute postovariectomy lag in LH rise is due to a lingering effect of the higher PRL and/or progesterone (P) levels seen in intact females. LH pulse amplitude, frequency, and mean levels increased significantly by 24 h after gonadectomy in both sexes, but the increases were greater in the males. FSH mean levels, but not pulse amplitude or frequency, increased similarly in both sexes by 24 h after gonadectomy. PRL did not change with gonadectomy. Treatment with CB-154 (a dopamine agonist), with or without RU486 (a P antagonist), 1 h before gonadectomy significantly suppressed pulsatile PRL secretion 1 day later in both sexes. There was no effect of either treatment on LH secretion. We have demonstrated that there is a sex difference in LH, but not FSH or PRL, pulsatility at 24 h after gonadectomy, and that female rats' higher PRL and P levels do not account for their slow rate of LH rise after ovariectomy.

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