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25 February 2011

Sexual dimorphism in the effect of concomitant progesterone administration on changes caused by long-term estrogen treatment in pituitary hormone immunoreactivities of rats

Andrea HeinzlmannABCDEF, Katalin KovesABCDEF, Magdolna KovacsBG, Valer CsernusB

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.881440

Med Sci Monit 2011; 17(3): BR62-73


Background: Since in clinical practice long-term estrogen (E) treatment is frequently applied, our aim was to study the effect of concomitant progesterone (P) administration on changes caused by long-term estrogen treatment in the secretion of LH, FSH, PRL and GH.
Material/Methods: Diethylstilbestrol (DES), P or both in silastic capsules were implanted under the skin of prepubertal Sprague-Dawley male and female rats. Animals survived for two or five months. We have also studied whether the changed hormone secretion caused by DES can return to normal level 1 or 2 months after removing DES capsule.
Results: 1.) The males more rapidly responded than females with decreasing basal LH release upon treatments. The basal FSH release was decreased only in males. The effect of DES persisted in males; however, in females basal LH and FSH levels were upregulated after removal of DES capsule. 2.) The basal GH levels were low in each group. The body weight and length were depressed by DES in both genders and P little blunted this effect. The body weight and length in males remained low after removal of DES capsule, in females it was nearly similar to intact rats. 3.) There was no sexual dimorphism in the effect of steroids on PRL secretion. In both genders DES extremly enhanced the PRL levels, P prevented the effect of DES. PRL levels returned to intact value after removal of DES influence. 4.) Removal of DES capsule reversed the changes in the immunohistochemical appearance of hormone immunoreactivities.
Conclusions: There was sexual dimorphism in the change of basal gonadotropic hormone and GH secretion but not of PRL upon DES and DES+P treatments. P was basically protective and this role may be mediated by P receptors locally in the pituitary gland.

Keywords: Pituitary Hormones - immunology, Pituitary Gland - metabolism, Organ Size - drug effects, Luteinizing Hormone - blood, Growth Hormone - blood, Follicle Stimulating Hormone - blood, Estrogens - pharmacology, Body Weight - drug effects, Biometry, Progesterone - pharmacology, Prolactin - blood, Sex Characteristics, Time Factors, Vaginal Smears

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750