Studies on the mechanism of the selective suppression of plasma levels of follicle-stimulating hormone in the female rat after administration of steroid-free bovine follicular fluid

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J Endocrinol, Volume 97, Number 3, p.327-338 (1983)

DOI Name (links to online publication)



Animal; blood; Body Fluids; Female; Follicle Stimulating Hormone; Gonadorelin; Hypothalamic; Hypothalamus; Lh; mechanism; Metabolic Clearance Rate; metabolism; methods; Ovarian Follicle; Prolactin; RAT; Rats; Rats; Inbred Strains; secretion; surgery; Time


Steroid-free bovine follicular fluid (bFF) selectively suppresses the plasma levels of FSH in the female rat, demonstrating that bFF contains inhibin-like material. The present study was concerned with the effects of bFF on the hypothalamic release of LH releasing hormone (LH-RH) into hypophysial stalk blood and on the metabolic clearance rates of gonadotrophins. The metabolic clearance rates of FSH, LH and prolactin were determined after a single injection of and during a constant infusion with adenohypophysial extract. Similar results were obtained with both methods, and treatment with bFF did not alter the metabolic clearance rates of FSH, LH and prolactin. Anaesthesia with urethane, used for surgery involved in the collection of hypophysial stalk blood, did not interfere with the effect of bFF on plasma levels of FSH. The administration of bFF did not change the hypothalamic content of LH-RH, but caused a 30% decrease in the levels of LH-RH in hypophysial stalk plasma. However, a fraction isolated from bFF, which contained 20 times more inhibin-like activity per mg protein than bFF, did not alter the hypothalamic release of LH-RH into the hypophysial portal blood while this fraction was effective in specifically suppressing the plasma levels of FSH. It was concluded that the inhibin-like activity in bFF does not suppress the plasma levels of FSH by affecting its plasma clearance or by influencing the hypothalamic release of LH-RH, but that it has a direct effect on the adenohypophysis in inhibiting the release of FSH. Besides the inhibin-like activity, bFF also contains another factor which can decrease the levels of LH-RH in hypophysial stalk plasma