Biphasic modulation of pituitary sensitivity to GnRH by oestrogens: the effects of A- and D-ring substitution on LH release in cultured pituitary cells.


The sensitizing effect of oestrogens on GnRH-stimulated LH release was evaluated in pituitary cells from adult female rats, cultured for 2 days in the presence of 10(-13) to 10(-6) M concentrations of oestradiol and selected A- and D-ring modified oestrogens. With almost all steroids tested, bell-shaped dose-response curves with comparable LH-maxima but different ED max values were obtained for the LH response to a submaximal GnRH stimulus (5 X 10(-10) M). Maximal LH response to 5 X 10(-10) M GnRH were found at the following oestrogen concentrations: oestradiol and 4-hydroxyoestradiol = 10(-11) M; 2-methyloestradiol = 10(-9) M; 2-hydroxyoestradiol = 10(-8) M; with 4-methyloestradiol no significant maximum was observed. When cells were pretreated with 10(-13), 10(-11) and 10(-9) M oestradiol, or 4-hydroxyoestradiol, or 2-hydroxyoestradiol, and exposed to increasing concentrations of GnRH (10(-11) to 10(-7) M), an almost 10-fold decrease in the ED50 for GnRH was observed after pretreatment with 10(-11) M oestradiol and 4-hydroxyoestradiol. With 2-hydroxyoestradiol at this concentration, the sensitizing effect was much less pronounced. Increasing the steroid concentration to 10(-9) M slightly decreased the effect of oestradiol and 4-hydroxyoestradiol, whereas it increased the effect of 2-hydroxyoestradiol. Thus, at the target cell 4-hydroxyoestradiol has the same potency as oestradiol, while 2-hydroxyoestradiol is significantly less active. The sensitizing effect of oestradiol is only slightly decreased by the presence of a methyl group in position 2, but is markedly reduced by a methyl group in position 4. Our results also demonstrate the high sensitivity of the pituitary to oestrogen-induced enhancement of GnRH-stimulated gonadotrophin release, as well as the decrease of the positive effect at high oestrogen concentrations. The bell-shaped dose-response curves for oestrogen action should be taken into account when evaluating the effects of oestrogens and their derivatives upon gonadotrophin release from the pituitary gland.


Citations per Year

1,250 Citations

Semantic Scholar estimates that this publication has 1,250 citations based on the available data.

See our FAQ for additional information.

Cite this paper

@article{Emons1984BiphasicMO, title={Biphasic modulation of pituitary sensitivity to GnRH by oestrogens: the effects of A- and D-ring substitution on LH release in cultured pituitary cells.}, author={Guenter Emons and Rudolf Knuppen and Pete Ball and Kevin J . Catt}, journal={Acta endocrinologica}, year={1984}, volume={107 3}, pages={317-27} }