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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2002 Sep;82(1):75-82.

Neonatal superior ovarian nerve transection disturbs the cyclic activity of the female rats.

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  • 1Laboratorio de Biología de la Reproducción (LABIR), Facultad de Química, Bioquímica y Farmacia, Universidad Nacional de San Luis, Chacabuco 917, Argentina.


The neural pathway most related with ovarian steroidogenesis has been identified as the superior ovarian nerve (SON). This work constitutes the first study of the effects of early ovarian SON transection, which was performed in rats of 4 days of age (SON-t rats) to magnify the effects of the denervation. The rats were studied at the prepubertal (30 days), peripubertal (41 days) and adult cyclic in dioestrus (60 days) reproductive stages. The SON-t rats showed a delay of vaginal opening, a notable disruption of oestrous cyclicity, and a large number of corpora lutea. In all the stages, the circulating levels of FSH, prolactin and growth hormone were lower in SON-t rats than in controls, whereas LH did not vary. Serum androstenedione levels were higher in SON-t rats at 30 days and lower at 41 days, compared with control animals while no difference was observed at 60 days. Serum progesterone levels did not differ between control and SON-t, but serum oestradiol concentrations were higher in SON-t rats in all of the stages. At the peripubertal stage, there were fewer ovarian beta-adrenergic receptors in SON-t ovaries, associated with a rise in the ovarian content of norepinephrine, but no changes were observed in SON-t rats at 30 and 60 days with respect to the controls. The release of progesterone in vitro from luteal cell in SON-t rats at 60 days was reduced in basal condition and under ovine LH or FSH stimulation, when compared with control animals; while no difference was observed in presence of isoproterenol or androstenedione in the culture medium. In corpora lutea of SON-t rats at 60 days, no change was observed in the activity of 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3beta-HSD), but the activity of 20alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (20alpha-HSD) was reduced, suggesting abnormal luteolysis in spite of the large number of corpora lutea. The interruption of innervation at an early age by SON transection is very important in the regulation of ovarian development in prepubertal and cyclic rats. The functional changes observed in the ovary suggest a possible alteration in the hypothalamic-hypophyseal axis.

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