Effects of ethanol on rat hypothalamic luteinizing hormone releasing hormone. A study utilizing radioimmunoassay. Academic Article uri icon


  • To further understand the mechanism of action by which ethanol (ETOH) decreases plasma luteinizing hormone (LH) levels, the effects of multiple i.p. injections of EOH (1.0--1.5 g/kg) or saline on hypothalamic luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) and plasma LH concentrations were evaluated in intact and castrate male rats. After injections, animals were decapitated, brains rapidly removed, and blocks containing the hypothalamus [with median eminence (ME)] were isolated. Hypothalami were subjected to acetic acid extraction and LHRH content quantitated via radioimmunoassay (RIA). Hypothalamic LHRH was found to be inversely correlated with plasma LH. In response to castration, both saline and ETOH-treated rats showed a decrease in hypothalamic LHRH content with a concomitant increase in plasma LH; however, the ETOH-treated animals retained significantly greater concentrations of LHRH and showed significantly lower plasma LH levels when compared to saline-treated controls. Likewise, ETOH-treated intact animals showed significant increases in LHRH content, with LH levels remaining significantly lower than the saline-treated intact controls. Thus, these data from both intact and castrate rats provide evidence to support the hypothesis that alcohol-induced decreases in LH levels are due to a diminished release rate of hypothalamic LHRH.

published proceedings

  • Biol Reprod

author list (cited authors)

  • Dees, W. L., Mc Arthur, N. H., Farr, K. L., Culler, M. D., & Harms, P. G.

citation count

  • 44

complete list of authors

  • Dees, WL||Mc Arthur, NH||Farr, KL||Culler, MD||Harms, PG

publication date

  • June 1983