Hypothalamic Control of the Menstrual Cycle

  • Julane Hotchkiss


The relation between ovarian function and menstruation did not become clear nor widely accepted until the early twentieth century, and the details of this relation as currently understood are amply covered in other chapters in this volume. The next conceptual step forward in reproductive physiology came when it became evident that the ovary did not function autonomously, but depended upon the presence of the anterior pituitary gland. The concept of anterior pituitary ommipotence could not survive, however, in the face of the clever experimental designs of Harris (1955) who showed that ovulation in the rabbit could be induced by sensory signals arising in the periphery which were translated by the hypothalamus into hormonal signals from the pituitary gland. The isolation, characterization, and synthesis of the hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and a myriad of other hypothalamic hormones that regulate the secretion of other anterior pituitary hormones have added substance to the original theories of the hypothalamic control of pituitary function.


Menstrual Cycle Rhesus Monkey Luteal Phase Gonadotropin Secretion Luteinizing Hormone Surge 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Attardi, B., Hotchkiss, J., and Knobil, E., 1980, Monkey pituitary oestrogen receptors and the biphasic action of oestradiol on gonadotropin secretion, Nature, 285:252.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Belchetz, P.E., Plant, T.M., Nakai, Y., Keogh, E.J., and Knobil, E., 1978, Hypophysial responses to continuous and intermittent delivery of hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone, Science, 202:631.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Carmel, P.W., Araki, S., and Ferin, M., 1976, Pituitary stalk portal blood collection in rhesus monkeys: evidence for pulsatile release of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), Endocrinology, 99:243.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Clarke, I.J., and Cummins, J.T., 1982, The temporal relationship between gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion in ovariectomized ewes, Endocrinology, 111:1737.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dierschke, D.J., Bhattacharya, A.N., Atkinson, L.E., and Knobil, E., 1970, Circhoral oscillations of plasma LH in the ovariectomized rhesus monkey, Endocrinology, 87:850.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Filicori, M., and Crowley, W.F., Jr., 1983, Hypothalamic regulation of gonadotropin secretion in the human female, in “Neuroendocrine Aspects of Reproduction”, R.L.Norman, ed., Academic Press, New York, in press.Google Scholar
  7. Grumbach, M.M., and Sizonenko, P.C., eds., “Control of the Onset of Puberty, II”, Academic Press, New York, in press.Google Scholar
  8. Harris, G.W., 1955, “Neural Control of the Pituitary Gland”, Edward Arnold, Ltd., London.Google Scholar
  9. Knobil, E., 1974, On the control of gonadotropin secretion in the rhesus monkey, Rec. Prog. Horm. Res., 30:1.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Knobil, E., 1980, The neuroendocrine control of the menstrual cycle. Rec. Prog. Horm. Res., 36:53.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Knobil, E., 1981, Patterns of hypophysiotropic signals and gonadotropin secretion in the rhesus monkey, Biol. Reprod., 24:44.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Knobil, E., Plant, T.M., Wildt, L., Belchetz, P.E., and Marshall, G., 1980, Control of the rhesus monkey menstrual cycle: permissive role of hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone, Science, 207:1371.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Krey, L.C., Butler, W.R., and Knobil, E., 1975, Surgical disconnections of the medial basal hypothalamus and pituitary function in the rhesus monkey, Endocrinology, 95:1073.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Leyendecker, G., Wildt, L., and Hansmann, M., 1980, Pregnancies following chronic intermittent (pulsatile) administration of GnRH by means of a portable pump (“Zyklomat”) — A new approach to the treatment of infertility in hypothalamic amenorrhea. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab., 51:1214.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Plant, T.M., 1982, Effects of orchidectomy and testosterone replacement on pulsatile luteinizing hormone secretion in the adult rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta), Endocrinology, 110:1905.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Pohl, C.R., and Hotchkiss, J., 1983, Neural control of reproductive function in primates, in “Reproductive Physiology, IV”, Int. Rev. Physiol., Vol. 27, R.O. Greep, ed., University Park Press, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  17. Pohl, C.R., Richardson, D.W., Hutchison, J.S., Germak, J.A., and Knobil, E., 1983, Hypophysiotropic signal frequency and the functioning of the pituitary-ovarian system in the rhesus monkey, Endocrinology, 112:2076.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Wildt, L., Hausier, A., Hutchison, J.S., Marshall, G., and Knobil, E., 1981a, Estradiol as a gonadotropin releasing hormone in the rhesus monkey, Endocrinology, 108:2011.Google Scholar
  19. Wildt, L., Hausier, A., Marshall, G., Hutchison, J.S., Plant, T.M., Belchetz, P.E., and Knobil, E., 1981b, Frequency and amplitude modulation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone stimulation and gonadotropin secretion in the rhesus monkey, Endocrinology, 109:376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Wildt, L., Marshall, G., and Knobil, E., 1980, Experimental induction of puberty in the infantile rhesus monkey, Science, 207:1373.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Winters, S.J., and Troen, P., 1983, A reexamination of pulsatile luteinizing hormone secretion in primary testicular failure, J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 57:432.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Yen, S.S.C., Tsai, C.C., Naftolin, F., Vandenberg, G., and Ajabor, L., 1972, Pulsatile patterns of gonadotropin release in subjects with and without ovarian function, J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab., 34:671.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julane Hotchkiss

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations