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Neurosci Res. 2003 Aug;46(4):399-405.

Sexual dimorphism in the GABAergic control of gonadotropin release in intact rats.

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Department of Physiology, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, 3-9 Fukuura Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama 236-0004, Japan.


GABA is a potent regulator of gonadotropin release both in male and female rats. We reported 24 h profiles of GABA release in the medial preoptic area (MPO) where gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) surge generator resides in female rats. In this article, we review the sex difference in 24 h profiles of GABA release. GABA release is high and episodic in male rats without any time dependency, but female rats showed a surge-like secretion of GABA in the early morning of the proestrous day. GABA release rapidly decreased until the afternoon of the day of proestrus followed by the preovulatory luteinizing hormone (LH) surge. The peak time of GABA episodes changes with estrous cycle in female rats. Fitting with the double cosinor method demonstrated that the acrophase of the GABA release in proestrous female rats occurs in the early morning, whereas the acrophases in diestrous females, estrous females and males occur at various time of day. Proestrous female rats showed significant difference in the peak time and acrophase of the GABA release compared with other estrous stages of female and male rats. These results demonstrated further sexual dimorphism of GABA release in the MPO, suggesting that coupling between the GABA release and the circadian clock may be a determining factor in the sex difference of the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis in rats.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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