Abstract. The effect of pretreatment in vivo with oestradiol benzoate on in vitro secretion of LH and FSH was studied in long-term ovariectomized (OVX) rats both at the end of a 5-day continuous in vivo pretreatment with LRH and 4-days after cessation of such LRH pretreatment.
Rats were on day 0 sc implanted with osmotic minipumps which released LRH at the rate of 250 ng/h. Control rats were implanted with a piece of silicone elastomer with the dimensions of a minipump. On days 2 and 4 the rats were injected with either 3 μg EB or with oil. On day 5 part of the rats were decapitated and the in vitro autonomous (i.e. non-LRH-stimulated) and 'supra-maximally' LRHstimulated release of LH and FSH was studied using a perifusion system. From other rats the minipumps were removed on day 5 and perifusion was performed on day 9.
On the 5th day of the in vivo LRH pretreatment the pituitary LH/FSH stores were partially depleted; the pituitaries of the EB-treated rats more so than those of the oil-injected rats. EB alone had no significant effect on the content of the pituitary LH- and FSH stores.
On day 9, i.e. 4 days after removal of the minipumps, the pituitary LH and FSH contents had increased in both the oil- and the EB injected rats, but had not yet recovered to control values.
In rats not subjected to the 5-days pretreatment with LRH EB had a positive effect on the supra-maximally LRH-stimulated secretion of LH and FSH as well as on the non-stimulated secretion of LH. EB had no effect on the non-stimulated secretion of FSH. After 5 days of in vivo pretreatment with LRH only, the in vitro non-stimulated and supra-maximally LRH-stimulated secretion of both LH and FSH were strongly impaired, the effect correlating well with the LRH-induced depletion of the pituitary LH/FSH stores. In such LRH-pretreated rats EB had on day 5 a negative effect on the (already depressed) LRH-stimulated secretion of LH (not on that of FSH). EB had no effect on the non-stimulated LH/FSH secretion. It could be demonstrated that the negative effect of the combined LRH/EB pretreatment was mainly due to the depressing effect of this treatment on the pituitary LH and FSH stores: the effect of oestradiol on the pituitary LRH-responsiveness (release as related to pituitary gonadotrophin content) remained positive. In LRH-pretreated rats, however, this positive effect of EB was smaller than in rats not pretreated with LRH.
Four days after removal of the minipumps there was again a positive effect of EB on the LRH-stimulated secretion of LH and FSH as well as on the non-stimulated secretion of LH. The positive effect of EB on the pituitary LRH-responsiveness was as strong as in rats which had not been exposed to exogenous LRH. The non-stimulated secretion of FSH was again not affected by EB.
The results demonstrate that the effect of EB on the oestrogen-sensitive components of gonadotrophin secretion consists of two components: an effect on the pituitary LRH-responsiveness proper, and an effect on the pituitary LH/FSH stores. The magnitude of the effect of EB on the LRH-responsiveness is LRH dependent: it is very weak (almost zero) in LRH-pretreated rats, but strong in rats not exposed to LRH as well as in rats of which the LRH-pretreatment was stopped 4 days previously.
Similarly, the effect of EB on the pituitary LH and FSH stores is LRH-dependent: in the absence of LRH, EB has no influence on the contents of these stores, but EB can potentiate the depleting effect of LRH on the LH/FSH-stores. Also this effect disappear after cessation of the LRH-pretreatment.