Hormonal Influences on Hypothalamic Sensitivity during Aging in Female Rodents

  • Caleb E. Finch
  • Charles V. Mobbs


The regulation of gonadotropins by ovarian steroids in laboratory rats and mice becomes progressively impaired during aging, as exemplified by the diminished LH surge observed by 8–14 months at proestrus, or in animals which were ovariectomized and treated with steroids to induce an LH surge. Apparently, similar impairments in the LH surge can be precociously induced in young adult female rodents by intensive exposure to estradiol. Since some impairments of gonadotropin regulation can be delayed by chronic ovariectomy, a major mechanism in reproductive aging may involve the long-term, possibly cumulative impact of estradiol or other hormones on the hypothalamus. We will discuss these phenomena with particular focus on the early stages of reproductive senescence. We do not discuss here the significant literature describing alterations of hypothalamic neurotransmitters with age in female rodents, e.g., Simpkins et al. (1977); Reymond and Porter (1981); Demarest et al. (1982).


Estrous Cycle Arcuate Nucleus Luteinizing Hormone Secretion Reproductive Aging Plasma Luteinizing Hormone 


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© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caleb E. Finch
    • 1
  • Charles V. Mobbs
    • 1
  1. 1.Andrus Gerontology Center, Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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