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Endocrinology. 1992 Jan;130(1):503-10.

Dynamics of gonadotropin-releasing hormone release during a pulse.

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Reproductive Sciences Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-0404.


This study examined the nature of the GnRH signal that travels down the pituitary portal vessels and causes an LH pulse. Individual GnRH pulses were described in terms of abruptness of increase and decrease, amplitude, duration, and amount of GnRH released. Pituitary portal blood was obtained at 30-sec intervals for 2.5 or 5 h from five short-term ovariectomized ewes. Jugular blood was sampled every 10 min for LH. We examined 13 GnRH pulss; each produced an LH pulse. The contour of most GnRH pulses approximated a square wave. The rising edge of the GnRH pulse was very abrupt; GnRH secretion increased as much as 50-fold within 1 min. The mean peak amount of GnRH collected during pulses (24 pg/min, range 2-66) was 70-fold greater than the interpulse baseline (0.2-0.5 pg/min). The release period was sustained an average of 5.5 min; thereafter, GnRH fell to prepulse levels within 3 min. Overall, the larger and more prolonged pulses of GnRH were associated with higher amplitude LH pulses. To assess the distortion of the GnRH signal by the collection procedure, samples were obtained in vitro using the same technique during application of 4- and 7-min square wave GnRH pulses by means of a syringe pump. Signals were carried as square-waves through the sampling operation with minimal distoration, with the exception that amplitude decreased during the collection procedure. Our findings indicate the square-wave pulses observed in vivo are an accurate description of the dynamics of GnRH release during a pulse in short-term overiectomized ewes.

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