Induction of LH hypersecretion in cyclic rats during the afternoon of oestrus by oestrogen in conjunction with progesterone antagonism or opioidergic blockade

J Endocrinol. 1988 May;117(2):229-35. doi: 10.1677/joe.0.1170229.


The pro-oestrous secretion of progesterone that follows the LH surge in the rat limits the expression of the daily signal for LH surge initiation until the following oestrous cycle. This study explored the role of endogenous opioid peptides in the extinction by progesterone of the signal for the LH surge induced by oestrogen. Intact cyclic rats underwent external jugular venous cannulation on dioestrus, and were allowed to elicit a spontaneous pro-oestrous LH surge. On the afternoon of pro-oestrus, rats received an s.c. injection of oestradiol and an s.c. injection of either oil, 17 beta-hydroxy-11 beta-(4-dimethylaminophenyl)17 alpha-(prop-1-ynyl)oestra-4,9,dien-3-one (RU 486; a synthetic anti-progestin), or N-cyclopropylmethyl-6-desoxy-6-methylene-noroxy-morphone (nalmefene; a long-acting opiate antagonist). Repeat doses of each were administered on the morning of oestrus to maintain increased oestrogen levels, and either progesterone or opioidergic blockade. Plasma was obtained from 13.00 to 19.00 h on oestrus for determination of the concentration of rat LH. Rats treated with oestradiol alone demonstrated consistently low concentrations of LH throughout the afternoon of oestrus. Rats treated with both oestradiol and either RU 486 or nalmefene demonstrated spontaneous augmentations of rat LH concentration during the afternoon of oestrus, which, although of diminished amplitude as compared with that seen in pro-oestrus, were consistent with a reactivation of the LH surge-generating mechanism. Rats treated with nalmefene in the absence of oestradiol were unable to augment LH secretion spontaneously.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Estradiol / pharmacology
  • Estrenes / pharmacology*
  • Estrus / blood*
  • Female
  • Luteinizing Hormone / metabolism*
  • Mifepristone
  • Naltrexone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Naltrexone / pharmacology
  • Narcotic Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Proestrus / blood*
  • Progesterone / blood
  • Progestins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Secretory Rate / drug effects
  • Stimulation, Chemical


  • Estrenes
  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Progestins
  • Mifepristone
  • Progesterone
  • Estradiol
  • Naltrexone
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • nalmefene