There is compelling evidence that endogenous excitatory amino acid neurotransmission is an important component of the neuroendocrine transmission line that regulates anterior pituitary-hormone release and, thus, reproduction. Excitatory amino acids (EAAs), such as glutamate and aspartate, are found in large quantities in neuroendocrine tissues such as the hypothalamus, and neurons from a variety of hypothalamic nuclei respond with marked excitation to EAA application. Exogenous EAA administration rapidly increases the release of GnRH, LH, and prolactin secretion in vivo and in vitro. Antagonist studies demonstrate that EAA-receptor activation is involved in a number of reproductive-endocrine events, such as the induction of puberty, seasonal breeding, steroid-induced LH secretion, and the preovulatory surge of LH and prolactin in the female. EAA regulation of these neuroendocrine events appears to be achieved through modulation and regulation of hypothalamic GnRH secretion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism