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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 1990 Jan 22;68(2-3):85-94.

Progesterone modulation of gonadotropin secretion by dispersed rat pituitary cells in culture. I. Basal and gonadotropin-releasing hormone-stimulated luteinizing hormone release.

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Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology, Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10021.


Dispersed, estradiol-treated, rat pituitary cells were cultured to characterize the influences of a physiologic concentration of progesterone (P, 10(-7) M) on gonadotroph responsiveness to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Acute (less than 6 h) P treatment enhanced and chronic (greater than 12 h) treatment suppressed both basal and GnRH-stimulated luteinizing hormone (LH) release. This modulation took place without any change in intracellular LH stores, indicating that the secretory changes are not attributable to changes in LH synthesis, and were not accompanied by similar alterations in basal or thyrotropin-releasing hormone-stimulated prolactin secretion. Moreover, the timing of these responses was fixed since a 10-fold lower P concentration produced only smaller and briefer alterations in LH release. Analyses of the temporal characteristics of effective P stimuli indicated that a brief 6 h exposure to P inhibited GnRH-stimulated LH secretion 18 h later. In contrast, P's acute actions rapidly dissipated following removal of the steroid from the culture medium. Finally, P-induced enhancement and suppression of GnRH-stimulated LH release could be blocked by appropriately timed treatments with protein synthesis inhibitors. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that P influences gonadotroph secretory function via the production of specific proteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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