To investigate the effect of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) on thermoregulatory skin vasomotion, we injected GnRH into various brain regions in both anesthetized and unanesthetized ovariectomized female rats. Local warming of preoptic area (PO) elicited skin vasodilation in anesthetized rats. Injection of 2 μg GnRH into the septal area lowered the threshold hypothalamic temperature for skin vasodilation at least for 2 h. Similar injections of 2 μg GnRH into the lateral ventricle (LV) and PO were ineffective. Although this vasodilative effect was also obtained after the injection of 20 ng GnRH into the septal area, injections of 2 ng GnRH were without effect. Not only injections of 20 ng Antide, a potent GnRH antagonist, but also injections of the mixed solution of 20 ng GnRH and 20 ng Antide were also without effect. In unanesthetized and unrestrained rats at an ambient temperature of 17°C, injections of 20 ng GnRH into the septal area elicited tail vasodilation lasting for 30 minutes, whereas vehicle injections were ineffective. Injections of 20 ng GnRH into LV and PO were also ineffective. These results indicate that GnRH can elicit thermoregulatory skin vasomotion by acting on GnRH receptors in the septal area. This thermoregulatory vasodilative effect of GnRH might be possibly related to the etiology of climacteric hot flush.
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