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Neuroendocrinology. 1990 Aug;52(2):133-7.

Corticotropin-releasing factor and gonadotropin-releasing hormone pulse generator activity in the rhesus monkey. Electrophysiological studies.

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  • 1Laboratory for Neuroendocrinology, University of Texas Medical School, Houston.


The effect of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) on the hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) pulse generator, the central neuronal system governing pulsatile pituitary luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion, was studied electro-physiologically in 6 ovariectomized rhesus monkeys bearing bilateral arrays of recording electrodes implanted in the mediobasal hypothalamus. 'Volleys' of increased multiunit activity (MUA) were recorded for 6-10 h in animals placed in primate chairs. The circulating concentrations of LH and cortisol were determined by radioimmunoassay in blood samples taken every 10 min for 3-4 h prior to the administration of CRF (200 micrograms, i.v.) and for 3-6 h thereafter. CRF resulted in a significant decrease in the frequency of pulse generator activity in 4 of 6 animals, a significant decrease in the duration of MUA volleys and a rise in circulating cortisol levels in all 6 monkeys. Treatment with metyrapone (30 mg/kg, i.m.), an inhibitor of adrenal steroidogenesis that prevented the CRF-induced rise in serum cortisol levels, did not reverse the inhibitory effects of CRF on the frequency or duration of MUA volleys. The opiate antagonist naloxone (0.8 mg/kg, i.v., 10 min prior to CRF followed by 0.8 mg/kg/h infusion) blocked the effects of CRF on MUA volley frequency in 2 of 3 animals, but failed to block the effect of CRF on MUA volley duration, suggesting that endogenous opioids may mediate the action of CRF on pulse generator frequency but not on duration.

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