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Modulation of Pituitary Responsiveness to Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone

  • George Fink
  • Anthony Pickering
Part of the Biochemical Endocrinology book series (BIOEND)

Abstract

Modulation of the pituitary response to hypothalamic releasing factors (hormones) by target-organ hormones was first shown for the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis (Brown-Grant, 1960). The results of these physiological studies were confirmed by showing that thyroid hormones reduce pituitary responsiveness to thyrotropin-releasing hormone (e.g., Reichlin et al., 1972). Negative-feedback control of gonadotropin output by gonadal steroids has been accepted and has perhaps dominated endocrine thinking since the classic work of Moore and Price (1932), but curiously, we know little about the mechanism. The data can be summarized by saying that at low physiological levels, estrogens inhibit gonadotropin output, and that the effect of estrogen is potentiated by progesterone (McCann, 1962; Knobil, 1974; Hauger et al., 1977; Goodman, 1978a). Progesterone by itself has little or no effect, but this may be because the central receptors that mediate the effect of progesterone on gonadotropin output are present only at a low concentration in the absence of estrogen (MacLusky and McEwen, 1978). The studies of Bogdanove (1963) in the rat and Nakai et al. (1978) in the rhesus monkey suggest that the inhibitory effect of estrogen may be exerted at the pituitary, but estradiol does reduce significantly the concentration of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) in hypophyseal portal blood collected from long-term ovariectom-ized rats (D. K. Sarkar and G. Fink, unpublished).

Keywords

Luteinizing Hormone Priming Effect Luteinizing Hormone Release Hormone Luteinizing Hormone Surge Oestrous Cycle 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Fink
    • 1
  • Anthony Pickering
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Human AnatomyUniversity of OxfordOxfordEngland

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