This study examined which neural mechanism (opioid, dopaminergic, or serotonergic system) is involved in the regulation of luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion, with and without nutritional modulation, at different times of the photoperiodic cycle. Goats were randomly distributed into two experimental groups that received either 1.1 (high group; n = 18) or 0.7 (low group; n = 18) times the nutritional maintenance requirements. The goats were exposed to alternations of 3 mo of long days and 3 mo of short days. Plasma LH concentrations were measured twice a week. The effects of intravenous injections of naloxone (endogenous opioid receptor antagonist), pimozide (dopaminergic2 receptor antagonist), and cyproheptadine (serotonin 5-hydroxytryptamine2 receptor antagonist) on LH secretion were assessed during challenges in three different photoperiodic situations: the onset of LH stimulation by short days (OnsetSD), the onset of LH inhibition by long days (OnsetLD), and during the LH inhibition by long days (LateLD). The role of the different neural systems was clearly modified by the level of nutrition. In the low-nutrition group, only naloxone increased LH concentrations during onsetLD (P < 0.05). However, in the high-nutrition group, naloxone increased the concentration and pulsatility of LH (P < 0.05) in onsetSD and onsetLD. Pimozide increased LH concentration and pulsatility (P < 0.05) in onsetLD and LH concentration in lateLD (P < 0.001). Finally, cyproheptadine significantly increased LH concentration at all three times (P < 0.001). These results provide evidence that all three systems are involved in the inhibition of LH release in onsetLD, and that the opioid and serotonin mechanisms are involved during the onsetSD that were enhanced by a high plane of nutrition.
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Vol. 84 • No. 3