The concentration of luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) in hypophysial portal plasma was determined in pentobarbitalanesthetized, intact and castrated rats of both sexes, including proestrous rats following electrochemical stimulation of the medial preoptic area (MPOA). Mean LHRH levels in portal plasma obtained between 1400–1700 h from estrous and diestrous rats and from rats ovariectomized for 8 weeks were similar and ranged from 50–55 pg/ml, but the LHRH levels in proestrous rats were less than 12 pg/ml. In addition, hypophysial portal plasma collected during lldO to 1400 h from animals orchidectomized for 8 weeks and from intact male rats contained mean LHRH concentrations that ranged from 50–65 pg/ml and 30–35 pg/ml, respectively. Electrochemical stimulation of the MPOA in the female rat on the afternoon of proestrus resulted in a marked increase in the concentration of LHRH in portal plasma. LHRH levels in portal plasma during the 0 to 30, 30 to 60, 60 to 90, 90 to 120, and 120 to 150-min periods after electrochemical stimulation of the MPOA were 105 ± 24.2, 61 ± 10.8, 51 ± 8.2, 36 ± 5.3, and 32 ±4.1 pg/ml, respectively. LHRH levels in portal plasma from the unstimulated lats were not detectable (<12 pg/ml) in most of the animals. In another group of proestrous rats, the effect of rabbit anti- LHRH serum or normal rabbit serum (NRS) on the release of LH after electrochemical stimulation of the MPOA was examined. Pretreatment of proestrous rats with anti-LHRH serum blocked the release of LH due to MPOA stimulation, whereas pretreatment with NRS did not inhibit LH release. On the basis of these findings, it is concluded that electrochemical stimulation of the MPOA in proestrous rats increases LHRH levels in portal blood and that the enhanced secretion of LHRH stimulates the release of LH from the pituitary gland.
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