Effects of pituitary stalk-transection on plasma concentrations of luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) prolactin (PRL) and progesterone were investigated during the estrous cycle of ewes. Pituitary stalk (SS) or sham (SH) transection was performed on day 1 (estrus = day 0) of the estrous cycle. A Teflon or Silastic barrier was placed between the cut ends of the stalk to prevent reorganization of the portal vasculature. Immediately following surgery, pulsatile administration of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH, 200 ng/hr) or .9% NaCl was initiated and continued for the duration of the experiment. Estradiol benzoate (EB, 50 μg im) was administered to all ewes on day 3. Mean concentrations of LH were greater in SS ewes than in SH ewes (P<.05). There was a trend (P=.06) for the concentration of LH to be higher in ewes with Teflon compared with Silastic barriers between the cut ends of the stalk. Infusion of GnRH elevated concentrations of LH in both SS and SH ewes (P<.05). Concentrations of progesterone were reduced (P<.01) in saline-infused SS ewes while infusion of GnRH in SS ewes maintained concentrations of progesterone similar to saline-infused SH ewes. The concentrations of FSH or PRL were unaffected by SS, type of barrier or treatment with GnRH. Administration of EB failed to induce a surge of LH except in a SH ewe infused with GnRH. Ewes were more responsive to infusion of GnRH following SS than after SH as reflected by increased plasma concentrations of LH and progesterone.
Mallory D. S., Gust C. M., Dailey R. A. (1986) Effects of pituitary stalk-transection and type of barrier on pituitary and luteal function during the estrous cycle of the ewe. Domest. Anim. Endocrinol. 3:253-259.