Summary. Administration of a GnRH agonist (5 μg) every 12 h to long-term ovariectomized ewes for 5 or 10 days during the breeding season suppressed mean LH levels from around 6 to 1 ng/ml on Days 1 and 4 after treatment; on Day 1 after treatment LH pulse frequency and amplitude were lower than pretreatment values. On Day 4 after treatment LH pulse frequency was restored to pretreatment levels (1 per h) whereas LH pulse amplitude had only slightly increased from 0·5 to 1 ng/ml, a value 25% of that before treatment. This increase in amplitude was greater the shorter the duration of treatment. Ovariectomized ewes treated with the agonist for 5 days exhibited both negative and positive feedback actions after implantation of a capsule containing oestradiol; however, compared to control ewes treated with oestradiol only, the positive and negative feedback actions of oestradiol were blunted.
These results suggest that the recovery of tonic LH concentrations after GnRH agonist-induced suppression is limited primarily by changes in LH pulse amplitude. The results also demonstrate that the feedback actions of oestradiol are attenuated, but not blocked, by GnRH agonist treatment.