Naloxone (NAL) has been shown to induce LH release in female but not in male rats 10-25 days of age. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of neonatal gonadal hormones on NAL-induced LH release in male and female rats 15, 25, and 35 days of age. On each of these days rats received a s.c. injection of either NAL (5 mg/kg) or physiological saline, and blood was collected 30 min later by decapitation. At 15 days of age, NAL induced LH release in intact and ovariectomized (OVX) female rats, and in male rats castrated (CAST) on the 1st day of life (neonate CAST males). Injection of 10 μg estradiol benzoate (EB) 24 h prior to NAL administration blocked NAL-induced LH release in these rats. NAL had no effect on LH release in 15- or 25-day-old intact and CAST male rats or in female rats given 2 mg testosterone propionate at 3 days of age (androgenized female rats). At 35 days of age, NAL induced LH release in intact, OVX, and OVX-EB treated female rats, and in neonate CAST and neonate CAST-EB treated male rats. NAL had no effect on serum LH levels in androgenized female rats. NAL induced LH release in intact and CAST 35-day-old male rats, but pretreatment with estrogen prevented NAL from eliciting LH release. These results indicate that neonatal exposure to androgen is responsible for the sex difference in the LH response to NAL observed in prepubertal male and female rats before 30 days of age. They also show that the ability of NAL to induce LH release develops earlier in female and neonate CAST males than in intact male or androgenized female rats.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Endogenous opiates
- Immature rats
- Luteinizing hormone response