In the proestrus day, the neural and endocrine signals modulate ovarian function. This study shows vagus nerve plays a role in the multisynaptic pathways of communication between the suprachiasmatic nucleus and the ovaries where such neural information determines ovulation.
The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) regulates the activity of several peripheral organs through a parasympathetic–sympathetic pathway. Previously, we demonstrated that atropine (ATR) microinjection in the right SCN of rats during proestrus blocks ovulation. In the present study, we analysed whether the vagus nerve is one of the neural pathways by which the SCN regulates ovulation. For this, CIIZ-V strain cyclic rats on the day of proestrus were microinjected with a saline solution (vehicle) or ATR in the right or left SCN, which was followed by ventral laparotomy or ipsilateral vagotomy to the microinjection side. Some animal groups were sacrificed (i) on the same day of the surgery to measure oestradiol, progesterone and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels or (ii) at 24 h after surgery to evaluate ovulation. The left vagotomy in rats microinjected with ATR in the left SCN did not modify ovulation. In rats with ATR microinjection in the right SCN, the right vagotomy increased the levels of steroids and LH on the proestrus and ovulatory response. The present results suggest that the right vagus nerve plays a role in the multisynaptic pathways of communication between the SCN and the ovaries and indicate that such neural information participates in the regulation of the oestradiol and progesterone surge, which triggers the preovulatory peak of LH and determines ovulation.
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