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Endocrinology. 1996 Apr;137(4):1171-6.

Suppression of luteinizing hormone pulses by restriction of glucose availability is mediated by sensors in the brain stem.

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  • 1School of Agricultural Sciences, Nagoya University, Japan.


The availability of metabolic fuels such as glucose is known to influence reproductive function. Peripheral administration of 2-deoxyglucose (2DG), a competitive inhibitor of glycolysis, inhibits pulsatile LH secretion in the rat and growth-retarded lamb. We hypothesized that such glucoprivic suppression of LH secretion is mediated by the lower brain stem, because studies of both ingestive and reproductive behavior implicate lower brain stem structures, such as the area postrema, as a site that is sensitive to glucose availability. In the present study, the effect of a 2DG infusion, targeted to the fourth ventricle, on pulsatile LH secretion was examined in male rats. The males were castrated or castrated and immediately implanted with testosterone. Blood samples were collected through an indwelling atrial cannula every 6 min for 4 h for LH determination. After the first hour of blood sampling, 2DG (4 or 40 mg/kg) was infused into the fourth ventricle at a flow rate of 0.2 microliter/min through a cannula that had been stereotaxically implanted 1 week before sampling. The high dose of 2DG (40 mg/kg), but not the low dose (4 mg/kg), suppressed pulsatile LH secretion and increased food intake in both castrated and testosterone-treated castrated rats. LH secretion and food intake were not affected by the infusion of xylose (40 mg/kg) as an isoosmotic control. The site specificity of the 2DG treatment was confirmed by histological examination after an isovolumetric infusion of dye (0.2 microliter/min). These results suggest that glucose availability could influence LH secretion as well as feeding through a central sensor in the lower brain stem and are consistent with the idea that the area postrema might be an important glucosensor involved in the modulation of LH secretion.

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