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Role of Capsaicin-Sensitive Primary Afferent Nerves in the Neuroendocrine Copulation Reflex

  • H. H. Traurig
  • R. E. Papka
  • M. E. Rush
Conference paper

Abstract

Maintenance of the luteal phase and progesterone (P4 ) secretion adequate to support nidation and pregnancy or pseudopregnancy in the proestrous rat requires intact innervation of the uterine cervix [1]. Stimulation of the cervix during copulation, or by experimental means, is conveyed via neural pathways to the hypothalamus [2,3] altering the gonadotropin secretion pattern [4,2] and facilitating the secretion of prolactin (Prl), a luteotropin in the rat, by the hypothalamo-hypophyseal axis [5,6,14]. This results in cessation of estrous cyclicity and stimulation of P4 secretion by the corpus luteum [7,4,5], thus completing the neuroendocrine copulation reflex (response) [8]. Our previous results have demonstrated an extensive innervation of the uterine cervix by capsaicin- sensitive primary afferent nerves containing markers for substance P [9], and further, that groups of capsaicintreated (CAP) neonatal rats subsequently have a markedly reduced incidence of pregnancy following confirmed matings [10]. This suggested that the neural limb of the neuroendocrine copulation reflex consisted of primary afferent “c” type nerves.

Keywords

Corpus Luteum Estrous Cycle Uterine Cervix Primary Afferent Nerve Afferent Limb 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. H. Traurig
    • 1
  • R. E. Papka
    • 1
  • M. E. Rush
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyUniversity of Kentucky Medical CenterLexingtonUSA

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