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E. Messi, M. Zanisi, F. Celotti and M. Motta

Abstract. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that the restoring effect of testosterone on hypothalamic GnRH stores in orchidectomzied rats might be linked to the intrahypothalamic transformation of the hormone into estrogenic metabolites. To this purpose, advantage has been taken of the availability of the potent antiestrogen, tamoxifen (TMX). Different groups of adult male rats castrated since 4 weeks were submitted to a 6-day treatment with testosterone propionate (TP, 2 mg/rat daily); TMX (50 or 200 μg/rat daily); or TP (2 mg/rat daily) plus TMX (50 or 200 μg/rat daily). The animals were sacrificed 24 h after the last injection, and hypothalamic GnRH content was measured by radioimmunoassay. The results have confirmed the ability of TP to counteract the decreasing effect of orchidectomy on hypothalamic GnRH stores, and have shown that TMX does not have any intrinsic activity on this parameter. Furthermore, TMX at either dose used in the present experiments, was found not to be able to abolish the restoring effect of TP on MBH-GnRH stores. It is concluded that the action of testosterone on hypothalamic GnRH does not require the conversion of the hormone into estrogens.