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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Central and peripheral effects of RFamide-related peptide-3 on luteinizing hormone and prolactin secretion in rats.

Hypothalamic RFamide-related peptide-3 (RFRP-3) neurons inhibit LH secretion via a central action. A direct hypophysiotropic action on the gonadotropes has also been suggested. To assess central RFRP-3 effects on the GnRH/LH surge that induces ovulation, ovariectomized rats were subjected to an estradiol plus progesterone surge-induction protocol. Chronic infusion of RFRP-3 (2.5 or 25 ng/h, intracerebroventricularly) caused a dose-dependent 50-60% inhibition of GnRH neuronal activation (assessed by colocalization with the immediate early gene c-Fos) at the surge peak compared with vehicle-treated controls. RFRP-3 also suppressed neuronal activation in the anteroventral periventricular region, which provides stimulatory input to GnRH neurons, by 50-80% compared with control values. To test whether centrally administered RFRP-3 inhibits pulsatile GnRH/LH secretion, chronically ovariectomized, low-level estradiol-treated rats without surge induction were blood sampled every 10 min for 4 h. Bolus injection of RFRP-3 (0, 2.5, or 25 microg, intracerebroventricularly) after 1.5 h did not affect subsequent LH pulse frequency, pulse amplitude, or the mean concentrations of LH or prolactin. RFRP-3 treatment of isolated anterior pituitary cells at moderate doses of up to 10(-7) m did not significantly inhibit LH release, either with or without GnRH cotreatment. These data reveal a central inhibitory effect of RFRP-3 on the hypothalamo-pituitary gonadal axis specifically during the estradiol-induced GnRH/LH surge. This effect may include actions of RFRP-3 on GnRH neurons and/or their anteroventral periventricular afferent inputs but is unlikely to involve direct inhibition of LH secretion at the level of the gonadotrope.[1]


  1. Central and peripheral effects of RFamide-related peptide-3 on luteinizing hormone and prolactin secretion in rats. Anderson, G.M., Relf, H.L., Rizwan, M.Z., Evans, J.J. Endocrinology (2009) [Pubmed]
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