Forskolin-associated luteinizing hormone release by rat anterior pituitary glands: Effects of castration and estradiol replacement

Lisa A. Kolp, Richard J. Krieg, William S. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have previously shown that the diterpene forskolin, a compound which increases intracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP), causes a concentration-dependent release of luteinizing hormone (LH) by continuously perifused anterior pituitary cells from female rats. To test the hypothesis that cAMP-associated LH release is an estrogen-dependent process, we first compared concentration-response relationships between forskolin and both cAMP production and LH secretion by tissue obtained from intact female, intact male and ovariectomized (OVX) rats. Anterior pituitary fragments were perifused with medium alone or medium plus several concentrations of forskolin for 4 h. All three groups demonstrated concentration-dependent cAMP production in response to forskolin. However, while a concentration-dependent release of LH by forskolin was confirmed in pituitary fragments from intact female rats, no such relationship could be identified for tissue from OVX or male rats. Pituitary fragments from OVX rats administered estradiol via silastic capsule for 48 h were next challenged with 3 uA/ forskolin. In response to this submaximal concentration of the diterpene, a brisk increase in LH secretion was observed. These results demonstrate that, although forskolin stimulates the production of cAMP in intact male, intact female and OVX animals, an associated release of LH can be documented only in the intact female group. These findings, together with the observation that administration of estrogen appears to restore forskolin-associated LH secretion in OVX animals, suggest that estrogen may play a key role in the stimulation of LH release by cAMP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-404
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991


  • Cyclic AMP
  • Estradiol
  • Forskolin
  • Gonadotrophs
  • Luteinizing hormone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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