U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


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Published in Journal of Andrology (July-August 1986) 7(4): 234–239


Testosterone is aromatized to estradiol in both peripheral tissues and the central nervous system. Various authors have suggested that this conversion in the male may be prerequisite for the regulation of gonadotropin secretion by testosterone. Previously, it was reported that inhibition of central nervous system aromatase caused a significant increase in plasma LH in the presence of physiologic testosterone levels (Winter et a!, 1983). In order to confirm whether aminoglutethimide, the aromatase inhibitor used in our previous study, either blocked aromatization, or the action of estradiol, the following study was conducted. Fifteen male mongrel dogs were equally divided into three groups. Group 1 dogs were implanted with estradiol-filled polydimethylsiloxane capsules only; Group 2 dogs were implanted with empty capsules and treated with 60 mg b.i.d. of aminoglutethimide; and Group 3 dogs were implanted with polydimethylsiloxane capsules filled with estradiol and treated with aminoglutethimide. Blood samples were drawn for 24 days during pretreatment, capsule implantation, castration, aminoglutethimide administration and capsule removal periods. The postcastration response of both plasma LH and FSH in dogs in groups I and 3 was suppressed in the presence of elevated estradiol, whereas that of Group 2 dogs was normal in the absence of estradiol. The results suggest that aminoglutethimide neither directly affects the plasma concentration of either LH or FSH nor blocks the effect of estradiol in inhibiting their release following castration. These data, taken together with our previous work, implicate aromatization of testosterone to estradiol in the control of gonadotropin secretion in the male.