Function of pituitary-gonadal axis in zinc-deficient rats

Am J Physiol. 1976 Jun;230(6):1730-2. doi: 10.1152/ajplegacy.1976.230.6.1730.


The role of zinc in gonadal function was investigated in rats. The increases in luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and testosterone were assayed after intravenous administration of synthetic luteinizing-hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) to zinc-deficient and restricted-fed control rats. Body weight gain, zinc content of testes, and weight of testes were significantly lower in the zinc-deficient rats compared with the controls. The serum LH and FSH response to LHRH administration were higher in the zinc-deficient rats but serum testosterone response was lower in comparison with the restricted-fed controls. These studies indicate a specific effect of zinc on testes and suggest that gonadal function in zinc-deficient state is affected through some alteration of testicular steroidogenesis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / pharmacology
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Male
  • Pituitary Gland / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Testis / analysis
  • Testis / physiology*
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Zinc / analysis
  • Zinc / deficiency*


  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Testosterone
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  • Zinc