José Borrell, Flavio Piva and Luciano Martini
Drugs able to mimic or to antagonize the action of catecholamines have been implanted bilaterally into the basomedial region of the amygdala of adult castrated female rats. The animals were killed at different intervals after the implantation of the different drugs, and serum levels of LH and FSH were measured by radioimmunoassay. The results have shown that the intra-amygdalar implantation of the alpha-adrenergic blocker phenoxybenzamine induces a significant increase of the release both of LH and FSH. The implantation of the beta-adrenergic blocker propranolol brings about a rise of LH only. The dopamine receptor blocker pimozide stimulates the release of LH and exerts a biphasic effect (stimulation followed by inhibition) of FSH secretion. The alpha-receptor stimulant clonidine and the dopaminergic drug 2-Br-alpha-ergocryptine were without significant effects.
From these observations it is suggested that the adrenergic signals reaching the basomedial area of the amygdala (possibly from the brain stem) may be involved in the modulation of gonadotrophin secretion.
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.
Giuliano Giuliani, Marcella Motta and Luciano Martini
It has been shown that reserpine counteracts the depressive effect of dexamethasone on adrenal weight and function. These data have been interpreted as indicating that the main effect of reserpine on the hypophysial-adrenal axis is that of enhancing rather than depressing corticotrophin secretion. This might be achieved through the suppression of a midbrain inhibitory action. The blocking of stress reactions induced by reserpine is thought to be a result of the feedback effects of the enhanced blood levels of adrenal steroids, induced by the drug.
Flavio Piva, José Borrell, Patrizia Limonta, Gilberto Gavazzi and Luciano Martini
Adult female rats castrated 4 weeks before were implanted bilaterally into the basomedial area of the amygdala with drugs known to mimic or to counteract the actions of acetylcholine. The animals were sacrificed at different time intervals after the implantation of the different compounds, and serum levels of LH and FSH were measured by radioimmunoasay. The data obtained indicate that the intra-amygdalar implantation of the muscarinic blocker atropine induces a significant increase of the release of LH without altering FSH secretion. The implantation of two cholinomimetic drugs, pilocarpine, an almost pure muscarinic agonist, and carbachol, which possesses both muscarinic and nicotinic properties, exerted an inhibitory effect only on LH release. On the contrary, the intra-amygdalar placement of the nicotinic blocker mecamylamine was followed by an increase of FSH with no changes in LH. These observations may suggest that cholinergic signals reaching the amygdala may be of some relevance in the mechanisms controlling gonadotrophin secretion. Muscarinic receptors seem to play an inhibitory role in the regulation of LH secretion, while nicotinic receptors seem to modulate in an inhibitory way FSH release.