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Bioscientifica Proceedings (2019) 3 RDRRDR22 | DOI: 10.1530/biosciprocs.3.022

Neuroendocrinologie Sexuelle, PRMD INRA, 37380 Nouzilly, France

Annual variations in the secretion of LH are responsible for seasonal changes in ovulatory activity in ewes. This hormonal pattern reflects an increase in the intensity of the negative feedback exerted by oestradiol under long days. Neuro-pharmacological studies have shown that this inhibition of LH secretion involves activation of catecholaminergic systems from preoptic and mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH) by oestradiol during anoestrus, and that 5-hydroxytryptamine inputs may also play a role. Within the MBH, the most important structures appear to be the retrochiasmatic region of the hypothalamus, which contains the Al5 dopaminergic nucleus, and the median eminence, which contains the axon terminals of the GnRH cells controlling the pulsatile release of LH. In ovariectomized ewes in which oestradiol tonically inhibits LH secretion during the anoestrous season, LH pulse frequency is increased when the cells of the A15 nucleus are destroyed. The median eminence and other mediobasal structures contain more catecholamines and their metabolites under long days than under short days. Microdialysis of the A15 nucleus in vivo during long days revealed increased catecholaminergic activity under oestradiol treatment due to stimulation of tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme in the pathway of catecholaminergic synthesis. Tyrosine hydroxylase activity within the median eminence is increased under the various photoperiodic regimens that inhibit LH secretion. Neurochemical changes in the A15 nucleus and median eminence, in response to photoperiodic or oestradiol treatments, suggest a functional relationship which acts at the level of the GnRH axon terminals.

© 1995 Journals of Reproduction and Fertility Ltd

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