Ovulation and Stress: Pathophysiology

  • A. R. Genazzani
  • F. Petraglia
  • A. Monzani
  • G. Fabbri
  • A. D. Genazzani
  • P. Di Domenica
  • A. Volpe

Abstract

The stress-induced impairment of the hypothalamus-pimitary-gonadal (HPG) axis has been shown in humans. Hypogonadism or secondary amenorrhea, in men and women respectively, are the most frequent reproductive disturbances caused by chronic stress. The common endocrine findings in human patients and in experimental animals exposed to stress are the low plasma concentrations of pituitary gonadotropins and gonadal steroid hormones. The mechanisms responsible for the stress-induced impairment of the HPG axis are still unknown. There is much evidence to suggest that the primary defect occurs in the hypothalamus. Stress activates neuropeptides and neurotransmitters which suppress gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) activity. However, other authors suggest an impairment of the gonads as primary cause of HPG alteration.1

Keywords

Dopamine Cortisol Immobilization Dexamethasone Glucocorticoid 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    R. Collu, W. Gibb and J. R. Ducharme, Effects of stress on gonadal function, J. Endocrinol. Invest. 7:529 (1984).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    E. E. Muller, G. Nastico and U. Scapagnini, Neurotransmitters and Anterior Pituitary Function, Academic Press, New York (1977).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    S. M. McCann, The role of brain peptides in the control of anterior pituitary hormone secretion, in: Neuroendocrines Perspective, E.E. Muller and R.M. MacLeod eds., vol.1, Elsevier Biomedical Press, Amsterdam (1972).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    C. Denef and M. Baes, Beta-adrenergic stimulation of prolactin release from superfused pituitary cell aggregates, Endocrinology, 111:356 (1982).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    R. Collu, P. Du Ruisseau and Y. Tache, Role of putative neurotransmitters in PRL, GH and LH response to acute immobilization stress in rats, Neuroendocrinology, 28:178 (1979).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    F. Petraglia, W. Vale and C. Rivier, Beta-endorphin and dynorphin participate in the stressinduced release in the rat, Neuro-endocrinology, 28:178 (1987)*Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    L. Grandison and A. Guidotti, regulation of prolactin release by endogenous opiates, Nature, 270:357 (1977).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    M. E. Quigley and S. S. C. Yen, The role of endogenous opiates on LH secretion during the menstrual cycle, J. Clin. Endocrinol., 51:179 (1980).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    J. Blankstein, F. Y. Reyes, S. D. Winter and C. Faimen, Endorphins and the regulation of human menstrual cycle, Clin. Endocrinol., 14:287 (1981).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    M. Ferin, D. Van Vugt and S. Wardlaw, The hypothalamic control of menstrual cycle and the role of endogenous opioid peptides, Recent. Prog. Horm. Res., 40:441 (1984).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    M. E. Quigley, K. L. Sheehan, R. F. Casper and S. S. C. Yen, Evidence of an increased dopaminergic and opioid activity in patients with hypothalamic hypogonadotropic amenorrhea, J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab., 50:949 (1980).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    S. E. Sauder, G. D. Case, N. J. Hopwood, R. P. Kelch and J. C. Marshall, The effects of opiate antagonism in gonadotropin secretion in children and in women with hypothalamic amenorrhea, Pediatr. Res., 18:322 (1984).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    F. Petraglia, G. D’Ambrogio, G. Comitini, F. Facchinetti, A. Volpe and A. R. Genazzani, Impairment of opioid control of luteinizing hormone secretion in menstrual disorders, Fertil. Steril, 43:535 (1985).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    J. D. Veldhuis, H. E. Kulin, A. Warner and S. J. Santner, Responsiveness of gonadotropin secretion to infusion of an opiate receptor antagonist in hypogonadotropic individuals, J. Clin. Endocrinol Metab., 55:649 (1982).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    C. Nappi, F. Petraglia, G. Di Meo, M. Minutolo, A. R. Genazzani and U. Montemagno, Opioid regulation of LH secretion in amenorrheic patients following therapis of induction of ovulation, Fertil. Steril., 47:579 (1987).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    L. Wildt and G. Leyendecker, Induction of ovulation by the chronic administration of naltrexone in hypothalamic amenorrehea, J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab., 64:1334 (1987).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    F. Petraglia, W. Vale and C. Rivier, Opioids act centrally to modulate stress-induced decrease in LH secretion in the rat, Endocrinology, 119:2445 (1986).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    F. Petraglia, S. Sutton, W. Vale and P. Plotsky, Corticotropin-releasing factor decreases plasma luteinizing hormone levels in female rats by inhibiting gonadotropin-releasing hormone release into hypophysial portal circulation, Endocrinology, 120:1083 (1987).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    C. Rivier, J. Rivier and W. Vale, Stress-induced inhibition of reproductive function: role of endogenous corticotropin-releasing factor, Science, 231:607 (1986).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    D. J. S. Sirinathsinghji, P. E. Whittington, A. Audsley and H.M. Fraser, Beta-endorphin regulates lordosis in female rats by modulating LH-RH release, Nature, 301:62 (1982).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    M. A. Millan, D. M. Jacobovitz, L. R. Haugher and K. J. Catt, Distribution of corticotropinreleasing factor in primate brain, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 83:1921 (1986).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    P. S. Li and W. C. Wagner, In vivo and in vitro studies on the effect of adrenocorticotropin hormone or Cortisol on the pituitary response to gonadotropin-releasing hormone, Biol. Reprod., 29:25 (1983).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    D. E. Suter and N. B. Schwartz, Effects of glucocorticoids on secretion of luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone by female rat pituitary cells in vitro, Endocrinology, 117:849 (1985).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    A. K. Dubey and T. M. Plant, A suppression of gonadotropin secretion by Cortisol in castrated male rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) mediated by the interruption of hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone release, Biol. Reprod., 33:423 (1985).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    D. M. Baldwin and C. H. Sawyer, Effects of dexamethasone on LH release and ovulation in the cyclic rat, Endocrinology, 94:1397 (1974).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    M. Sakakura, K. Takebe and S. Nakagawa, Inhibition of luteinizing hormone secretion induced by synthetic LRH by long-term administration with glucocorticoids in human subjects, J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab., 40:774 (1975).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    A. E. Karpas, L. J. Rodriguez-Rigau, K. D. Smith and E. Steinberger, Effect of acute and chronic androgen suppression by glucocorticoids on gonadotropin levels in hirsute women, J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab., 59:780 (1984).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    G. B. Melis, V. Mais, M. Gambacciani, A. M. Paoletti, D. Antonori and P. Fioretti, Dexamethasone reduces the postcastration gonadotropin rise in women, J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab., 2:237 (1987).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    G. C. L. Lachelin, H. L. Judd, S. C. Swanson, M. E. Hauck, D. C. Parker and S. S. C. Yen, Long term effects of nightly dexamethasone administration in patients with polycystic ovarian disease, J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab., 55:768 (1982).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    H. Vierhapper, W. Waldausl and P. Nowotny, Suppression of luteinizing hormone induced by adrenocorticotropin in healthy women, J. Endocrinol., 91:399 (1981).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    W. J. Georgitis, G. L. Treece and F. D. Hofeldt, Gonadotropin releasing hormone provokes prolactin release in hypergonadotropic hypogonadal women: a response not altered by dexamethasone, Clin. Endocrinol, 19:319 (1983)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. R. Genazzani
    • 1
  • F. Petraglia
    • 1
  • A. Monzani
    • 1
  • G. Fabbri
    • 1
  • A. D. Genazzani
    • 1
  • P. Di Domenica
    • 1
  • A. Volpe
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniv. of ModenaModenaItaly

Personalised recommendations