Luteinizing hormone (LH) secretory patterns were characterized in adult male and female rats exposed to ethanol during the last week of fetal life. Gonadectomized fetal alcohol exposed (FAE) males and females had significantly reduced plasma LH titers as compared to those of pair-fed (PF) controls. The phasic afternoon LH secretory response to estrogen and progesterone priming was also significantly reduced in FAE females. These differences do not appear to be a result of altered pituitary sensitivity to luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH), since the infusion of LHRH resulted in an equal response in PF and FAE females. Subsequent characterization of the episodic pattern of LH secretion in FAe males revealed significantly reduced mean LH level as well as a decreased pulse amplitude and frequency when compared to PF males. Taken together, these data indicate that some of the central mechanisms controlling pituitary LH secretion are altered by prenatal exposure to alcohol.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)