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Reduced gonadotropin release in response to progesterone or gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) in old female rats

Life Sciences
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0024-3205(76)90393-3


Abstract Ovariectomized rats that were 3–4, 12 or 22 months old were injected s.c. with 4 mg, of testosterone propionate and 3 days later were injected s.c. with 2.8 mg. progesterone or the oil vehicle. Blood samples were collected by heart puncture 5 hrs. later. Serum levels of LH and FSH decreased significantly as age increased. Progesterone significantly increased serum LH and FSH levels regardless of age. The increase in serum LH concentration attributed to progesterone was greatest in the young and least in the old rats. To determine if age effects were due to differences in pituitary response to GnRH, ovariectomized rats that were 2.5 to 23 months old were injected i.v. with GnRH at doses of 100 ng or 40 ng/100 g body weight or were primed with 25 mg progesterone and 50 μg estradiol-benzoate 3 days before an injection of 2 ng GnRH/100 g body weight. Blood was obtained by heart puncture before and 20 min. after GnRH. In each experiment serum LH levels significantly decreased with increasing age but were significantly elevated by GnRH. This increase in serum LH level in response to GnRH declined with increasing age. The data suggest that the elevation in serum LH level in response to GnRH declines as a result of aging in female rats and that this effect is independent of circulating ovarian steroid levels.

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