Abstract

In rhesus monkeys with hypothalamic lesions that abolish gonadotropic hormone release by the pituitary gland, the constant infusion of exogenous gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) fails to restore sustained gonadotropin secretion. In marked contrast, intermittent administration of the synthetic decapeptide once per hour, the physiological frequency of gonadotropin release in the monkeys, reestablishes pituitary gonadotropin secretion. This phenomenon is attributable to the pattern of GnRH delivery rather than to the amounts of this hormone to which the cells of the pituitary are exposed. Moreover, the initiation of continuous GnRH administration in animals with lesions and in which gonadotropin secretion is reestablished by intermittent GnRH replacement can result in a "desensitization" or "down regulation" of the processes responsible for gonadotropin release.

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