The number of pituitary gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptors (GnRH- R) varies across the estrous cycle. We report that there is variable expression of the differently-sized GnRH-R transcripts in cyclic ewes and in an experimental model. During the follicular phase of the cycle, and compared to the luteal phase, there was increased expression of the 1.5, 2.3 and 3.7 kilobase (kb) transcripts with no change in the levels of the 5.6 or the 1.2 kb transcripts. Steady state levels of mRNA for luteinising hormone p and common α subunit were also increased in the follicular phase of the cycle. In hypothalamo-pituitary disconnected ovariectomised ewes given pulsatile GnRH replacement, injection of estrogen increased the 1.5, 2.3 and 3.7 kb, while the levels of the 5.6 and 1.2 kb transcripts were not altered. We conclude that the differential regulation of GnRH-R mRNA occurs through a direct effect of E on the pituitary.
- Gonadotropin releasing hormone