In vivo effects of acute EtOH on rat α and β luteinizing hormone gene expression

M. A. Emanuele, J. Tentler, N. V. Emanuele, M. R. Kelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


The suppressive effects of ethanol (EtOH) on the male rodent reproductive axis, especially on serum luteinizing hormone (LH) levels, are well known. In this study we examined, in coordinate fashion, the effects of EtOH on LH secretion and on steady-state levels of the mRNA for the two genes that direct LH synthesis, namely α- and β-LH. A single intraperitoneal (IP) injection of EtOH given to castrated male rats produced a statistically significant fall in serum LH levels at 1.5 (p<0.05) and 3 hours (p<0.01) after injection compared to saline-injected controls. This effect had dissipated by 24 and 72 hours after treatment. Intrapituitary LH content was significantly increased in EtOH-compared to saline-treated animals 1.5 hours after injection (p<0.05) at the same time there was a significant decrease in serum LH. Steady- state levels of β-LH mRNA were significantly diminished in EtOH-treated animals at 1.5 (p<0.05) and 3 hours (p<0.001) after injection, but returned to control levels thereafter. Since the half-life of β-LH mRNA is greater than 8 hours, this fall is most likely due to decreased β-LH mRNA stability and may also involve decreased β-LH gene transcription. α mRNA levels were unchanged at all time points investigated. These findings were verified in four repetitions of this experiment. These data suggest that the EtOH-induced fall in serum LH is due to impaired secretion of LH and to decreased LH synthesis as indicated by diminished steady-state levels of β-LH subunit mRNA, secondary mainly to altered mRNA stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-348
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • EtOH
  • LH
  • mRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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