Acute central stimulation of luteinizing hormone by parenterally administered N-methyl-D, L-aspartic acid in the male rat

B. A. Schainker, T. J. Cicero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Scopus citations

Abstract

N-methyl-d,l-aspartic acid (NMA), a potent neuroexcitatory and neurotoxic glutamic acid analogue, acutely elevates serum luteinizing hormone (LH) in male rats when given subcutaneously in doses below those that cause morphologically detectable hypothalamic neurotoxicity. NMA treatment in doses known to be subtoxic by morphological criteria fails to induce any permanent neuroendocrine dysfunction as assessed by several physiological parameters, including NMA responsiveness after multiple consecutive doses spaced at 24 h intervals, subsequent basal LH levels and subsequent postcastration LH elevations. Like naloxone, NMA elevates serum LH by reversibly stimulating a central labile pool. Neither has a direct stimulatory effect on the pituitary in vitro. Treatment with either attenuates naloxone-induced LH stimulation 2 h, but not 14 days, later while pituitary responsiveness to LHRH in vivo remains unaltered. Neither NMA nor naloxone is dependent upon testosterone for its LH stimulatory action and both increase serum LH through physiological mechanisms responsive to testosterone inhibition. It is concluded that subtoxic LH stimulating doses of NMA provide a useful tool in discerning neurotransmitter systems involved in central control of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-437
Number of pages13
JournalBrain Research
Volume184
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 24 1980

Keywords

  • N-methyl-d, l-aspartic acid
  • hypothalamus
  • luteinizing hormone
  • naloxone
  • neuroexcitatory amino acid

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