Possible Existence Of A Long-loop Feedback System Between FSH And Inhibin In Female Rats
Experiments were designed in which peripheral plasma inhibin levels were presumably altered in an attempt to investigate an interdependency between pituitary follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and ovarian inhibin secretion. In the first study, unilateral ovariectomy (ULO) was performed on 4-day cycling female rats under ether anesthesia at 0800 h on diestrous day 1 (D1). Inhibin-like activity [FSH-inhibiting activity(FSH-IA)] in untreated ovarian venous plasma (OVP) collected from the remaining ovary was assessed by an in vitro pituitary bioassay system. Both plasma FSH levels and FSH-IA significantly increased between 4 and 12 h after ULO. Thereafter, plasma FSH declined between 12 and 32 h after ULO, whereas FSH-IA remained elevated during this same time interval. Compared to sham-operated rats, plasma FSH was significantly elevated 4, 12, and 24 h after ULO, whereas FSH-IA was statistically higher only at 32 h after ULO. In a second experiment, rats were injected with charcoal-treated porcine follicular fluid (PFF) on proestrus and estrus. Control rats received saline. The data indicate that increased plasma FSH levels on D1 in PFF-treated rats (FSH rebound) may be a consequence of reduced endogenous inhibin secretion on estrus. As well, return of FSH to control levels on D2 in PFF-treated rats may have resulted from an FSH-associated increase in FSH-IA on D1 and D2.