Validation of the mechanisms proposed for the stimulatory and inhibitory effects of progesterone on gonadotropin secretion in the estrogenprimed rat: a possible role for adrenal steroids

Darrell W. Brann, Caria D. Putnam, Virendra B. Mahesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations


The stimulatory and inhibitory effects of progesterone on luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) secretion were found to be dependent on the length of estrogen exposure in ovariectomized estrogen-primed rats. Progesterone suppressed LH and FSH secretion when administered 16 hours after a single infection of estradiol to ovariectomized rats. If the estradiol treatment was extended over 40 hours by two injections ofestradiol 24 hours apart, progesterone administration led to a highly significant elevation of both serum LH and FSH levels 6 hours later. In addition to the direct stimulatory effect on LH and FSH release, progesterone, when injected I hour before, was able to antagonize the suppressive effect of a third injection of estradiol on LH and FSH release. In the immature ovariectomized estrogen-primed rat, 10 IU of ACTH brought about a release of progesterone and corticosterone 15 minutes later and LH and FSH 6 hours later. Progesterone, but not corticosterone, appeared to be responsible for the effect of ACTH on gonadotropin release. The synthetic corticosteroid triamcinolone acetonide brought about LH and FSH release in the afternoon, while cortisol, similar to corticosterone, was unable to do so. Nevertheless, triamcinolone acetonide and cortisol brought about increased secretion of FSH the following morning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-111
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1991



  • adrenal, role in regulation of gonadotropin release
  • antagonism of estrogen action by progesterone
  • follicle-stimulating hormone
  • luteinizing hormone
  • progesterone, effects on gonadotropin release
  • steroids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

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