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Endocrinology. 1993 Dec;133(6):2424-30.

The chronic intracerebroventricular infusion of interleukin-1 beta alters the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis of cycling rats. I. Effect on LHRH and gonadotropin biosynthesis and secretion.

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1
Clayton Foundation Laboratories for Peptide Biology, Salk Institute, La Jolla, California 92037.

Abstract

We have previously reported that the acute injection of interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) into the brain ventricles of intact female rats promptly decreases LHRH release and inhibits gene expression of this peptide in the medial preoptic area (MPOA). The present studies were therefore designed to determine whether continuous exposure to the cytokine would disrupt the estrous cycle. IL-1 beta was injected intracerebroventricularly for 4-6 days at a rate of 4 ng/h. Daily vaginal smears were obtained to follow the cycle; pituitary LH and FSH secretion were measured at regular intervals. Steady state levels of LH and FSH messenger RNA (mRNA) in the pituitary, and LHRH gene expression in the MPOA, were measured at the end of the treatment. Infusion of IL-1 beta caused a total disruption of the estrous cycle, characterized by persistent smears indicative of the diestrus stage. When compared to animals treated with the vehicle, rats infused with IL-1 beta showed a significant decrease in circulating LH concentrations, which was accompanied by lowered mRNA levels in the pituitary. This statistical difference (P < 0.01) persisted even when treated rats were compared to control in a similar stage of the cycle (i.e. diestrus). Plasma FSH levels remained low at all times after IL-1 beta infusion but showed the expected cyclic changes in control animals. At the end of treatment, LHRH gene expression was also markedly suppressed in LHRH neurons distributed between the rostral preoptic area/organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis and the MPOA of these animals. These results indicate that prolonged infusion of IL-1 beta into brain ventricles disrupts the estrous cycle, an event accompanied by decreased biosynthesis/release of LHRH and gonadotropins. We report in a related study that IL-1-treated rats also show increased plasma progesterone levels. However, it is improbable that this change was responsible for the interruption of the cycle described here; indeed we have previously observed that the central administration of IL-1 beta to intact rats resulted in an immediate blockade of the spontaneous activity of LHRH perikarya during the afternoon of proestrus and significantly decreased LHRH mRNA levels in gonadectomized animals. Taken together, these data suggest that the primary effect of IL-1 beta is at the level of LHRH perikarya, and that the resulting interruption of the cycle is caused by altered LHRH neuronal activity and blunted gonadotropin secretion.

PMID:
8243260
DOI:
10.1210/endo.133.6.8243260
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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