Comparison of some CNS effects of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone and progesterone

Barbra J. Tennent, Erla R. Smith, Daniel M. Dorsa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) has been reported to facilitate lordotic behavior in estrogen-primed ovariectomized (OVX) female rats in a manner similar to progesterone (P). This study compared P and LHRH with respect to their behavioral effects and site of action within the brain. The hormones were compared using two different components of sexual behavior, receptivity and proceptivity. To test for receptivity, OVX females were given behaviorally ineffective estradiol benzoate (EB) injections sc 48 hr before testing. They were then treated with either P, LHRH, or vehicle by various routes. Two and/or four hours later, receptivity (LQ) was measured. Treatments for the proceptivity test were similar except that a larger EP-priming dose, which facilitates preceptive behavior, was used. Four hours later, LQ and hopping, darting, and earwiggling were scored. In the receptivity test, sc administration of 1 mg P or 1 μg LHRH (but not 0.5 or 5.0 μg) significantly elevated LQ with respect to vehicle injection 4 hr after treatment. In the proceptivity test, 0.5, 1.0, and 5.0 μg of LHRH given sc failed to alter significantly either LQ or soliciting behavior. Progesterone facilitated both parameters. Implantation of crystalline P into the midbrain reticular formation (MRF) has been shown to elicit both the receptive and preceptive effects of the steroid. Microinjection of as much as 100 ng of LHRH in 1.0 μl saline into the same region failed to enhance lordotic behavior compared to saline injection alone, while a 200-ng intracerebroventricular dose significantly facilitated lordosis at 4 hr. The data indicate that LHRH does not induce proceptive behavior. The effects of peripherally administered LHRH on receptive behavior are similar but less pronounced than those of P. The two hormones elicit this effect from different sites in the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-86
Number of pages11
JournalHormones and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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