Maintenance of the luteal phase and progesterone (P4 ) secretion adequate to support nidation and pregnancy or pseudopregnancy in the proestrous rat requires intact innervation of the uterine cervix . Stimulation of the cervix during copulation, or by experimental means, is conveyed via neural pathways to the hypothalamus [2,3] altering the gonadotropin secretion pattern [4,2] and facilitating the secretion of prolactin (Prl), a luteotropin in the rat, by the hypothalamo-hypophyseal axis [5,6,14]. This results in cessation of estrous cyclicity and stimulation of P4 secretion by the corpus luteum [7,4,5], thus completing the neuroendocrine copulation reflex (response) . Our previous results have demonstrated an extensive innervation of the uterine cervix by capsaicin- sensitive primary afferent nerves containing markers for substance P , and further, that groups of capsaicintreated (CAP) neonatal rats subsequently have a markedly reduced incidence of pregnancy following confirmed matings . This suggested that the neural limb of the neuroendocrine copulation reflex consisted of primary afferent “c” type nerves.
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- Role of Capsaicin-Sensitive Primary Afferent Nerves in the Neuroendocrine Copulation Reflex
H. H. Traurig
R. E. Papka
M. E. Rush
- Springer New York
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