Influence of the Thyroid Gland on Ovarian Function in the Aging Rat

  • Richard F. Walker
  • Ralph L. Cooper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 113)


There is a dramatic decline in regular ovarian cycles with increasing age in rats. The anovulatory conditions which develope are associated with characteristic changes in the vaginal epithelium and have been termed constant estrus (CE) or repetitive pseu-dopregnancy (RPP). Several studies have demonstrated that this disruption of ovarian function is primarily due to age-related changes that occur within the brain and pituitary. For example, ovulation can be induced in old female rats following systemic injections of luteinizing hormone (LH), human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) (Aschheim, 1965), or luteinizing hormone-releasing factor (Aschheim, 1976). In addition reinstatement of regular ovarian and/ or vaginal cycles has been observed in response to electrical stimulation of the medial preoptic area (MPOA) (Clemens, Amenomore, Jenkins and Meites, 1969; Everett, Eolzinger, Zeilmaker, Redmond and Quinn, 1970), or by systemic injection of L-tyrosine, L-dopa, epinephrine, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (Clemens et al., 1969; Quadri, Kledzik and Meites, 1973; Linnoila and Cooper, 1976), and low doses of progesterone (Everett, 1940). Specific environmental changes will also reinstate ovarian cycles in both CE and RPP rats.


Thyroid Hormone Luteinizing Hormone Thyroid Gland Ovarian Function Constant Estrus 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard F. Walker
    • 1
  • Ralph L. Cooper
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for the Study of Aging and Human DevelopmentDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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