Role of Prolactin in the Regulation of Sensitivity of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary System to Steroid Feedback

  • A. Bartke
  • K. S. Matt
  • R. W. Steger
  • R. N. Clayton
  • V. Chandrashekar
  • M. S. Smith
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 219)


Biosynthesis of gonadal steroids is regulated primarily by stimulatory action of pituitary gonadotropins, while gonadotropin release is subject to powerful inhibitory control by gonadal steroids and their metabolites. Implicit in the existence of this mechanism for maintaining homeostasis is the requirement for some means of control of the sensitivity to negative steroid feedback. During sexual maturation, increased secretion of gonadotropins stimulates the gonads to produce progressively increasing amounts of steroids without inhibiting further secretion of LH and FSH. As a result of this decrease in the sensitivity of the hypothalamic pituitary system to negative steroid feedback, the concentrations of both pituitary gonadotropins and gonadal steroids rise in concert, increasing gradually from low (prepubertal) to higher (adult) levels. Numerous studies showed that much lower doses of steroids are required to prevent post-castrational rise in peripheral LH and FSH levels in prepubertal as compared to adult individuals thus providing direct evidence for resetting of the sensitivity to steroid negative feedback during sexual maturation.


Gonadal Steroid Short Photoperiod Testosterone Propionate Luteinizing Hormone Secretion Gonadotropin Release 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Bartke
    • 1
  • K. S. Matt
    • 2
  • R. W. Steger
    • 1
  • R. N. Clayton
    • 3
  • V. Chandrashekar
    • 1
  • M. S. Smith
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, School of MedicineSouthern Illinois UniversityCarbondaleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physiology, College of MedicineNortheastern Ohio UniversitiesRootstownUSA
  3. 3.Clinical Research CenterHarrow, MiddlesexEngland
  4. 4.Department of Physiology, School of MedicineUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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