Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Abstract: Gonadectomy of male rats led to a threefold increase of 3α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3α-HSDH) activity in pituitary homogenates that could be completely reversed by chronic administration of estradiol or 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT). 3α-HSDH was found to be distributed mainly between the 10,000 g and 100,000 g sediments from whole homogenates. The microsomal enzyme activity showed a substantial specificity for NADH whereas the cytosolic enzyme (100,000 g supernatant) demonstrated a slight preference for NADPH. The changes in Vmax found in homogenates following gonadectomy and gonadal steroid administration reflected changes in NADH- linked activity of the microsomal, but not the cytosolic enzyme. Estradiol-induced suppression of NADH-linked 3α-HSDH activity in pituitary homogenates from gonadectomized rats of either sex was accompanied by a similar suppression of NADPH-linked 5α-reductase activity and a marked decrease of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) release. In the ovariectomized rat chronic administration of nonsteroidal antiestrogens had strong estrogenic effects on 3α-HSDH activity and LH release, but not on 5α-reductase activity and FSH release. In the gonadectomized male rat, which was much less sensitive to intrinsic estrogenicity of the antiestrogens tested, nafoxidine completely blocked estradiol-induced suppression of 5α-reductase activity and FSH release and partially antagonized suppression of LH release. The trans-isomeric, substituted triphenylethylenes, tamoxifen, and enclomiphene, as well as nitromifene (mixture of trans and cis isomers) were able partially to counteract estradiol-induced suppression of 5α-reductase, but not 3α-HSDH activity. It is concluded that estradiol action on pituitary 5α-reductase, but not 3α-HSDH activity, involves an estrogen receptor mechanism.
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