Dissociation between the direct stimulatory and inhibitory effects of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone analog on ovarian functions

Zvi Naor*, Moshe Zilberstein, Haim Zakut, Hans R. Lindner, Nava Dekel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paradoxical effects of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) on the ovary have hitherto been believed to result from different regimens of administration; an acute treatment was shown to stimulate the ovary while chronic administration of the hormone inhibited LH-induced responses. In the present report we demonstrate that a single injection of a GnRH analog (D-Ala6)des-Gly10-GnRH-N-ethylamide (GnRHa, 2 μg/rat) is sufficient to obtain a significant inhibition (75%) of hCG-induced ovulation in PMSG-primed, either intact or hypophysectomized, immature rats. Inhibition of ovarian development, in terms of growth and ovulation, by multiple injections with GnRHa (2 μg/rat, twice daily for 3 days) could be obtained only upon administration of the hormone at early stages of follicular development, i.e. concomitantly with the PMSG injection. When administered after PMSG, GnRHa could not inhibit the ovary but rather induced ovulation by itself in the absence of hCG. A 12-24 h delay in initiation of GnRHa treatment triggered 65% of the rats to ovulate while a delay of 48 h resulted in 100% ovulation. Under both regimes of GnRHa administration, either the inhibitory or the stimulatory, the oocytes of the treated rats were induced to resume meiotic maturation. Since under the inhibitory regime ovulation did not occur, maturation was followed by a massive degeneration of the oocytes trapped within their follicles. These findings demonstrate that the follicular stage of development rather than the dose and/or duration of GnRHa administration determines whether GnRHa inhibits ovarian growth and ovulation, while the competence of the oocytes to respond to the GnRHa stimulus and mature is independent of hormonal priming.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-270
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Aug 1983
Externally publishedYes


  • GnRH analog
  • oocyte maturation
  • ovulation
  • rat


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