A surge of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) release from the brain triggers the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge that causes ovulation. The GnRH surge is initiated by a switch in estradiol action from negative to positive feedback. Estradiol signals critical for the surge are likely transmitted to GnRH neurons at least in part via estradiol-sensitive afferents. Using an ovariectomized estradiol-treated (OVX+E) mouse model that exhibits daily LH surges, we examined changes in glutamate transmission to GnRH neurons during negative feedback and positive feedback. Spontaneous glutamatergic excitatory post-synaptic currents (EPSCs) mediated by alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4- isoxazole propionic acid/kainate receptors (AMPA/KA Rs) or N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) were recorded in GnRH neurons from OVX+E and OVX mice. There were no diurnal changes in the percentage of GnRH neurons from OVX mice exhibiting EPSCs. In cells from OVX+E mice, the profile of AMPA/KA R-mediated and NMDAR-mediated EPSCs showed changes dependent on time of day. Comparison of AMPA/KA R-mediated EPSC frequency in OVX+E and OVX cells showed that estradiol suppressed transmission during negative feedback but had no effect during positive feedback. Tetrodotoxin treatment to block action potential firing did not affect AMPA/KA R-mediated EPSC frequency in OVX cells during negative feedback or in OVX+E cells during positive feedback, suggesting that estradiol-induced suppression of glutamate transmission may be primarily due to activity-independent changes. The diurnal removal of estradiol-induced suppression of AMPA/KA R-mediated glutamate transmission to GnRH neurons during positive feedback suggests that the primary role for estradiol-induced changes in glutamate transmission may be in mediating negative feedback.
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Reproductive Medicine