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H. M. Fraser, A. S. McNeilly, M. Abbott, and R. A. Steiner

Summary. A dose of 100 μl of a potent ovine LHRH gamma globulin inhibited ovulation in the cyclic rat when administered at 12:00 h on the day of pro-oestrus. A dose of 10 ml of the preparation was administered i.v. to female stumptailed macaques to achieve circulating antibody titres 3–4-fold higher than in the rat. In an ovariectomized macaque, this caused a marked fall in serum concentrations of LH to less than 10% of pretreatment values and also a significant, though less pronounced, fall in FSH. Six monkeys were treated with the LHRH gamma globulin during the mid—late follicular phase of the cycle. In 2 monkeys in which serum oestradiol concentrations were <100 pg/ml at the time of antibody administration, the rising oestradiol levels were abruptly suppressed and the normal mid-cycle LH surge failed to occur. Serum concentrations of LH and FSH declined to low levels for 8–10 days after which time normal follicular development occurred. In the remaining 4 monkeys in which follicular development was more advanced as indicated by serum oestradiol concentrations of >100 pg/ml, the antibodies induced either a transient decline or had no effect on the rising serum concentration of oestradiol. An LH/FSH surge followed by a rise in serum progesterone occurred in these macaques. When the antibodies were administered to a further 6 macaques, which had also been treated with oestradiol benzoate during the early follicular phase to induce an LH surge, the neutralization of LHRH again failed to block the surge even when the dose of antibody was increased to 20 ml.

The results show that LHRH antibodies were unable to block the LH surge in the macaque. They contrast with results obtained with LHRH immunoneutralization in the sheep, rat, hamster, mouse and bird and suggest that the ability of oestrogen to induce an LH surge by acting directly on the LHRH-primed anterior pituitary gland is more dominant in the primate.