Progesterone (P4) and a porcine follicular preparation of inhibin (MGRA-IV) have opposite actions on regulation of the ability of LHRH to release LH in ovine pituitary cell culture. Both P4 and inhibin change the response to LHRH. The ability of inhibin to sensitize cultures to LHRH (126–273%) was greatly inhibited (up to 100%) in the presence of P4 (10−7 m). The inhibitory action of P4 on LHRH-stimulated and inhibin-sensitized LHRH-stimulated LH secretion in ovine pituitary cell culture was dependent on the presence of ovaries in vivo. P4 inhibited 68% of LHRH-stimulated LH secretion in pituitary cultures from intact ewes. However, when cultures were prepared from pituitaries collected on days 9, 21, and 42 after ovariectomy, P4 inhibited LHRH-stimulated LH secretion by only 36%, 13%, and 0%, respectively. Ovariectomy had no effect (P > 0.05) on the sensitizing action of inhibin on LHRH-stimulated LH secretion, but ovariectomy did cause a time-dependent decline in the inhibitory action of P4 on inhibin-sensitized LHRH-stimulated LH secretion. Furthermore, when cultures were prepared from pituitaries collected from ewes ovariectomized for 35 days but treated with estradiol implants, both LHRH-stimulated and inhibin-sensitized LHRH-stimulated LH secretion were inhibited as well by P4 as in pituitary cultures from intact ewes. These results suggest that although P4 can completely inhibit the sensitizing action of inhibin on LHRH-stimulated LH secretion, its inhibitory action is dependent on the presence of ovaries or estradiol in vivo.
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