Summary. Endogenous LH-RH in ewes was inhibited by active immunization or by injection of LH-RH antiserum. Plasma levels of LH and FSH were elevated in 3 ovariectomized control ewes but low in 3 LH-RH immunized ovariectomized ewes. Oestradiol benzoate (50 μg i.m.) caused a marked rise in LH concentrations in control ewes but not in the immunized ewes. In the immunized ewes the low plasma levels of FSH decreased even further 8–36 h after injection of oestrogen, indicating a direct inhibitory action of the steroid on the pituitary. Both groups responded to the oestrogen injection by a rise in plasma levels of prolactin and by exhibiting normal oestrous behaviour.
When the control ewes were again challenged with oestradiol benzoate and, after 10 h, given an i.v. injection of 75 ml antiserum to LH-RH, the LH surge was abolished in one animal and reduced in another. These experiments indicate that the continued presence of LH-RH is necessary for the occurrence of the oestrogen-induced LH surge in the ewe.
Administration of a stimulatory analogue of LH-RH released LH and FSH in control and immunized ewes but the responsiveness to further injections at intervals of 3 h decreased, particularly for FSH.
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