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  • Author: Elio Messi x
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Elio Messi, Mariarosa Zanisi and Luciano Martini


Evidence indicates that long and short feedback systems are altered in the aged male rat. Data also indicate the existence of an ultrashort feedback mechanism controlling GnRH secretion. The present experiments were performed to test whether the ultrashort feedback control of GnRH is operating also in old male rats. Mediobasal hypothalami of 18-month-old male rats were perifused in vitro either in the presence or in the absence of a GnRH agonistic analogue (Buserelin: [D-Ser(TBU)6, Des-Gly10]GnRH ethylamide) and stimulated with 5-min pulses of K+ (for a total of six pulses) in order to test their ability to release GnRH. The hypothalamic fragment was exposed to the GnRH analogue either for a part of the experimental period (at the beginning or at the end) or for the whole duration of the perifusion. In both cases, the presence of the analogue diminished or totally abolished the responses to K+ stimulation. This is in line with the results obtained in young animals. The data suggest that the ultrashort feedback mechanism controlling GnRH release is normally functioning also in aged male rats despite the fact that other types of feedback mechanisms (long and short loop) are substantially altered.