This experiment determined if the degree of stimulation of the pituitary gland by GnRH affects the suppressive actions of inhibin and testosterone on gonadotropin secretion in rams. Two groups (n = 5) of castrated adult rams underwent hypothalamopituitary disconnection and were given two i.v. injections of vehicle or 0.64 μg/kg of recombinant human inhibin A (rh-inhibin) 6 h apart when treated with i.m. injections of oil and testosterone propionate every 12 h for at least 7 days. Each treatment was administered when the rams were infused i.v. with 125 ng of GnRH every 4 h (i.e., slow-pulse frequency) and 125 ng of GnRH every hour (i.e., fast-pulse frequency). The FSH concentrations and LH pulse amplitude were lower and the LH concentrations higher during the fast GnRH pulse frequency. The GnRH pulse frequency did not influence the ability of rh-inhibin and testosterone to suppress FSH secretion. Testosterone did not affect LH secretion. Following rh-inhibin treatment, LH pulse amplitude decreased at the slow, but not at the fast, GnRH pulse frequency, and LH concentrations decreased at both GnRH pulse frequencies. We conclude that the degree of stimulation of the pituitary by GnRH does not influence the ability of inhibin or testosterone to suppress FSH secretion in rams. Inhibin may be capable of suppressing LH secretion under conditions of low GnRH.
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