Effects of ethanol on hypothalamic luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) in the male rat. An immunocytochemical study. Academic Article uri icon


  • These studies were designed to determine if the acute alcohol-induced decreases in luteinizing hormone (LH) seen in previous studies using rats could be due to an inhibitory effect of ethanol (ETOH) on hypothalamic LHRH release. Thus, effects of multiple injections of ETOH on the relative amount of immunoreactive LHRH fibers in the hypothalamus and median eminence (ME) of castrate and intact male rats were determined immunocytochemically. Brains were removed following cardiac perfusion of 10% phosphate-buffered formalin. A block containing the hypothalamus with the ME was isolated from each brain, then postfixed in Bouin's solution. Paraffin sections were rehydrated and stained for LHRH with the peroxidase-antiperoxidase technique using an antiserum to synthetic LHRH conjugated to bovine serum albumen. Differences visualized immunocytochemically between saline-treated intact and castrate rats indicated that the LHRH content of the ME was markedly depleted after castration. Conversely, castrate rats treated with ETOH showed only a slight reduction in immunoreactive LHRH fibers. In ETOH-treated intact animals, the LHRH fiber content of both the hypothalamus and ME appeared to be slightly greater than the saline-treated intact controls. Thus, these data support the hypothesis that ETOH diminishes LHRH release, and hence provides an explanation for the depressed plasma LH levels observed in ETOH-treated intact and castrate rats.

published proceedings

  • Exp Brain Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Dees, W. L., McArthur, N. H., & Harms, P. G.

citation count

  • 19

complete list of authors

  • Dees, WL||McArthur, NH||Harms, PG

publication date

  • March 1984