From ultradian to infradian rhythms: LH release patterns in vitro

H. Lewy, Z. Naor, Israel E. Ashkenazi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the present study, we examined in vitro luteinizing hormone (LH) release patterns from pituitaries and from pituitary cell cultures (3 and 7 days in culture) to elucidate the endogenous period generated by the gonadotroph cell population and to evaluate the relationship between the basic period generated at the cellular level and the output pattern observed at the organ level. In addition, we examined the effect of photic environmental signals perceived by the animals on LH release patterns from pituitaries in vitro. When the animals were exposed to circadian photoperiodic signals, the in vitro LH release pattern from the pituitaries exhibited ultradian, circadian, and infradian frequencies. When the animals were exposed to continuous illumination, the in vitro patterns exhibited only ultradian and infradian frequencies. Furthermore, free running is a process, not a state. This process is driven by a change in the relative dominance of different frequencies that construct the pattern without changing the basic period length. Evaluation of the relative dominance of the different frequencies that construct the pattern indicates that, although infradian oscillators may take part in shaping the output pattern, the basic rhythm generated by the pituitary cells is in the ultradian domain. The results obtained from the examined system suggest that an endogenous oscillator is a cellular entity with ultradian periodicity, and that the rhythmic output of many biological variables is structured by various ultradian components that construct the circadian and infradian output rhythms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-450
Number of pages10
JournalChronobiology International
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999


  • Cell culture
  • Endogenous oscillator
  • Luteinizing hormone
  • Ultradian rhythms


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