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Title: Neuropeptide regulation of hormone secretion from the anterior pituitary gland of the ewe
Author: Porter, Duncan William Fulton
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1991
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The actions of LHRH, CRH and NPY on the activity of the reproductive axis and, in particular, the LHRH pulse generator were investigated in vivo. A model was developed to allow direct administration of neuropeptides, antagonists and antibodies into the third cerebral ventricle of conscious, free-movingand unstressed sheep, giving access to hypothalamic periventricular structures involved in the control of the anterior pituitary gland. Plasma levels of OH were used as a measure of LHRH pulsatility. Three major questions were addressed: (1) Does hypothalamic LHRH autoregulate its own release? Injection of LHRH (2.1-21 pmol) into the third ventricle caused a specific, dose-related and receptor-mediated inhibition of LH secretion. It is therefore suggested that the intrinsic communication between LHRH neurones may be inhibitory and may provide a mechanism to affect the timing of the pulsatile release of LHRH. However, as central injection of LHRH also caused a rapid 4-5 fold rise in plasma cortisol levels, prior to and correlated with the reduction in LH secretion, this inhibitory communication may be indirect. (2) Does CRH act as a central neurotransmitter to mediate the inhibitory effects of stress on LHRH release? In contrast to other species, central injection of CRH (0.12-1.2 nmol) caused a dose-related stimulation of LH secretion, due to a significant increase in LH pulse frequency. CRH also caused a marked and dose-related stimulation of prolactin and cortisol secretion, two hormones known to be released under conditions of stress. Endogenous opioid peptides were shown to mediate the central effect of CRH on the release of prolactin, but not on LH or cortisol. The effect on LH may reflect a species difference, or alternatively may be similar to the increase in LH secretion reported in rats and monkeys subjected to short-term handling or restraint stress. These data provide evidence that CRH acts as a central neurotranmitter; i.e., distinct from its action as a secretagogue for ACTH. (3) Does central NPY interact with LHRH and/or CRH to modulate the reproductive axis? In contrast to the rat, central injection of NPY (0.15-1.5 nmol) had no effect on LH levels in ovariectomized ewes with or without oestradiol implants; nor was LH secretion altered by central NPY in intact animals. However, central administration of NPY (1.5 nmol) during both the follicular and luteal phases, and in the oestradiol-implanted ovariectomized ewe, caused a large and significant increase in plasma cortisol. Passive systemic immunization with high titre antibodies raised against NPY had no effect on LH secretion during either the oestradiol-induced LH surge in anoestrous ewes or the pre-ovulatory LH surge in intact ewes. Central administration of anti-NPY antibodies, however, resulted in a delay in the onset of the pre-ovulatory LH surge. These results demonstrate that NPY could play a part in the modulation of the timing of the LH surge at the level of the hypothalamus and also that NPY is involved in the multi-factorial regulation of ACTH release.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available