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M. Zanisi and L. Martini

ABSTRACT

Serum LH and FSH were measured by radioimmunoassay in untreated and oestrogen-treated ovariectomized rats. The animals were sacrificed 7, 14, 21 and 28 days after ovariectomy. Oestradiol benzoate was administered in the daily dose of 50 μg on the 2 days preceding sacrifice. It has been found that oestrogens exert a strong inhibitory effect on the release of LH, as evidenced by a decrease in serum titers of the hormone. Oestradiol suppressed LH almost completely in animals with both low (7 or 14 days post-ovariectomy), and high levels of serum LH (21 or 28 days post-ovariectomy). Oestradiol failed to totally suppress serum FSH at any post-castration time considered. Moreover, the inhibitory effect of oestradiol on FSH release decreased as post-castration time increased. These data suggest that the feedback mechanisms which control the secretion of LH and those which control the secretion of FSH are substantially different.

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M. Zanisi and L. Martini

ABSTRACT

Serum levels of LH and of FSH have been measured using specific radioimmunological procedures in normal controls and in male and female rats submitted to castration 1, 2, 7, 14, 21, 28 and 35 days before. Gonadectomy is followed by a rapid increase of serum levels of LH in males, and by a delayed response in females. The responses of serum FSH to castration are quantitatively and qualitatively similar in the two sexes. Both in males and in females an elevation of serum FSH levels is already present 1 day after the operation. Serum FSH continues to rise, between post-castration days 1 and 7 with a rather rapid slope, and at later intervals with a smoother progression.

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Z. Kniewald, M. Zanisi and L. Martini

ABSTRACT

Plasma levels of testosterone have been measured in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats using a gas-chromatographic procedure. Immediately after castration, the concentrations of testosterone in the plasma increase to reach a maximum one hour after orchidectomy; after this time a progressive decrease in plasma testosterone is observed. The concentration of testosterone then returns to levels close to those found before the operation two hours after castration; four hours after orchidectomy plasma testosterone begins to decrease to values lower than in the intact controls. Adrenalectomized animals with their testes in situ show a sharp decrease in plasma testosterone which begins immediately after the operation; the plasma testosterone reaches levels significantly lower than those in the intact control one hour after adrenalectomy; a greater decrease is observed four hours after the operation. Twenty-four hours after unilateral adrenalectomy the remaining gland significantly increases in weight; at this time, the plasma corticosterone and plasma testosterone levels of unilaterally adrenalectomized rats are normal. These results are interpreted as indicating that the adrenal gland of normal male rats is capable of producing testosterone, and that the synthesis of testosterone at the adrenal level is increased immediately after castration. Moreover it is suggested that the adrenal gland also contributes to the biosynthesis of testosterone in an indirect fashion, i. e. by providing the testes with an essential precursor. It has been tentatively proposed that progesterone might be such a precursor.

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M. Legori, M. Motta, M. Zanisi and L. Martini

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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.

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P. Negri-Cesi, F. Celotti, R. C. Melcangi, M. Zanisi and M. Motta

Abstract. The aim of the present experiments was to analyze whether the inhibitory effect exerted by testosterone on FSH release might be mediated by the intracerebral transformation of the hormone into oestrogenic metabolites. Advantage has been taken of the availability of the potent antioestrogen tamoxifen. Two series of experiments have been performed. In the first one, adult male rats have been castrated and submitted, beginning immediately after surgery, to a 6-day treatment with testosterone propionate (2 mg/rat/day), tamoxifen (50 or 200 μg/rat/day) or testosterone propionate (2 mg/rat/day) plus tamoxifen (either 50 or 200 μg/rat/day). In the second experiment, adult male rats have been castrated and submitted to the same 6-day treatments, beginning 4 weeks following orchidectomy. In both experiments, the animals were killed 24 h after the last injection, and serum levels of FSH and LH have been measured by radioimmunoassays. The results have clearly shown that, in both experiments, the administration of testosterone results in a significant decrease of serum FSH and in a total suppression of LH release. The administration of tamoxifen, in either dose, does not modify the elevated serum FSH and LH levels present in the orchidetomized animals, and does not antagonize the inhibitory effect on FSH and LH secretion exerted by the concomitant treatment with testosterone propionate. It is concluded that testosterone inhibits FSH secretion in orchidectomized rats acting as such, and not following aromatization to oestrogens.