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Progesterone and testosterone in combination act in the hypothalamus of castrated rams to regulate the secretion of LH

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journal contribution
posted on 2001-05-01, 00:00 authored by Anne TurnerAnne Turner, A J Tilbrook, I J Clarke, C J Scott
We tested the hypotheses that progesterone enhances the negative feedback actions of testosterone in rams and that this occurs through actions at the hypothalamus. In the first part of this study, blood samples were collected every 10 min for 12 h before and after 7 days of treatment (i.m.) of castrated Romney Marsh rams (n=5 per group) with vehicle, progesterone (4 mg/12 h), testosterone (4 mg/12 h) or a combination of progesterone (4 mg/12 h) and testosterone (4 mg/12 h). In the second part of this study the brains of four gonad-intact Romney Marsh rams were collected, the hypothalamus was sectioned and in situ hybridisation of mRNA for progesterone receptors conducted. After 7 days of treatment with vehicle or progesterone or testosterone alone, there were no changes in the secretion of LH. In contrast, treatment with a combination of progesterone and testosterone resulted in a significant (P<0.01, repeated measures ANOVA) decrease in mean plasma concentrations of LH, the number of LH pulses per hour and the pre-LH pulse nadir and a significant (P<0.01) increase in the inter-LH pulse interval. We found cells containing mRNA for progesterone receptors throughout the hypothalamus, including the preoptic area (where most GnRH neurons are located in sheep), the periventricular, ventromedial and arcuate nuclei and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. This study shows that progesterone is capable of acting centrally with testosterone to suppress the secretion of LH in castrated rams and that cells containing mRNA for progesterone receptors are located in the hypothalamus of rams in the vicinity of GnRH neurons.



Journal of endocrinology






291 - 298


Endocrine Society


London, Eng.





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2001, Endocrine Society