Neural Control of Gonadotropin Secretion

  • S. M. McCann
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 11)

Abstract

The system that mediates gonadotropin release is intimately related to the neural system which mediates sexual behavior. In all species, sexual behavior ultimately results from the release of sex hormones, which is, in turn, induced by the previous release of gonadotropins. Furthermore, there is a close temporal relationship. For example, in the rat, the preovulatory discharge of gonadotropins occurs approximately two hours before the onset of sexual receptivity (Moss and Cooper, 1973). Thus, sexual receptivity is timed to occur just before ovulation to ensure fertilization of the freshly shed ova. In addition, luteinizing hormone (LH) releasing factor (LRF) can induce mating behavior (Moss and McCann, 1973). When LRF is released into the hypophysial portal vessels just before the preovulatory release of LH, it may also be released from axon collaterals directly into the preoptic sexual receptivity center. Lastly, in species which ovulate in response to mating, such as the rabbit, cat, and ferret, the act of mating can induce a discharge of gonadotropins via the release of LH-releasing factor (Everett, 1964). Coitus-induced release of gonadotropins appears to occur also in the rat (Moss and Cooper, 1973; Spies and Niswender, 1971) and may also occur in other spontaneously ovulating species.

Keywords

Estrogen Dopamine Serotonin Testosterone Prostaglandin 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. M. McCann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Southwestern Medical SchoolUniversity of Texas Health Science CenterDallasUSA

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