OBJECTIVE: Available data suggest that estrogens and leptin play a role in the control of the pubertal process. In humans and some mammal species the increase of the activity of gonadotropic axis accompanies the decrease in the rate of growth at puberty. The effect of 17β-estradiol and/or leptin administration on the somatotropic and gonadotropic axes was studied using prepubertal female rats as an animal model.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Prepubertal female rats received estradiol/saline, estradiol/leptin, oil/leptin or oil/saline (vehicles) respectively. The changes of growth rate, and serum 17β-estradiol, leptin, GH, IGF-I and gonadotropins levels as well as LHRH and estrogen receptor (ER) concentrations in the medial basal hypothalamus (MBH) and the pituitary were determined. All hormones concentrations were measured by radioimmunoassay and ER by radioligand methods .
RESULTS: In estradiol and/or leptin treated animals noticeable reduction of rate of growth was found. The decrease of growth in response to estradiol treatment accompanied the increase GH level and the decrease of IGF-I concentration in the circulation. Both hormones operating together activated reproductive axis, what was manifested by a significant increase of LHRH abundant in the hypothalamus as well as elevated LH and FSH levels in the circulation. In these rats a significant decrease of the estrogen receptor concentrations in the pituitary was observed.
CONCLUSION: The role of estradiol and leptin in the control of growth and reproduction seems to overlap only partially. Estradiol plays a significant role in the activation of the reproductive axis, and leptin takes part as a permissive factor in pubertal process.