Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Reproduction and Fertility (1993) 99, 231-235 © 1993 Journal of Reproduction and Fertility Used by Permission


The role of LHRH in modulating intrapituitary LH content as well as the distribution of LH among its isoforms was examined in sheep. Rams (n = 3) and wethers (n = 6) were actively immunized against an LHRH-humanserum globulin conjugate. Pituitaries collected from these animals plus pituitaries from corresponding numbers of nonimmunized rams and wethers were extracted with a buffered saline solution containing protease inhibitors. Immunization markedly reduced total amounts of immunoreactive LH in the pituitary. An aliquot of each pituitary extract was desalted by flow dialysis against water and chromatofocused on a pH 10.5-7.0 gradient. Concentrations of LH in chromatofocusing fractions were determined by radioimmunoassay. LH in pituitary extracts resolved into nine peaks during chromatofocusing which were coded with letters beginning with the most basic isoform. The percentage of LH as the two most basic isoforms, A' and B, was similar (P > 0.05) in all treatment groups. Isoform H constituted a higher percentage (P < 0.05) of the LH in both castrate groups. Nonimmunized wethers had higher percentages of isoforms C, D and E (P < 0.05) and lower percentages (P < 0.05) of the acidic isoforms (coded as peak Z herein) than did other treatment groups. Thus, castration shifted the pattern of intrapituitary isohormones towards the more basic forms. Nonimmunized rams had a higher percentage (P < 0.05) of isoform G than did other groups. Isoform F, the most abundant isoform, was present as a higher percentage (P < 0.05) in immunized rams and wethers than in nonimmunized animals. Hence, ablation of hypothalamic LHRH reaching the pituitary by active immunization not only markedly reduced the quantity of LH in the pituitary, but also altered the distribution of LH among its isoforms yielding a higher percentage of the most abundant isoform F. Hypothalamic LHRH therefore not only increases the quantity of LH in the pituitary but also alters the pattern of intrapituitary isohormones by reducing the percentage present as isoform F. Furthermore, inputs from both the hypothalamus and gonads appear to regulate the distribution of intrapituitary isohormones with hypothalamic influences predominating.