Nitric oxide (NO) plays a crucial role in reproduction at every level in the organism. In the brain, it activates the release of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH). The axons of the LHRH neurons project to the mating centers in the brain stem and by efferent pathways, evoke the lordosis reflex in female rats. In males, there is activation of NOergic terminals that release NO in the corpora cavernosa penis to induce erection by generation of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). NO also activates the release of LHRH which reaches the pituitary and activates the release of gonadotropins by activating neural NO synthase (NOS) in the pituitary gland. Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)RH selectively releases FSH also by activating NOS. Leptin releases LHRH by activating NOS to release FSH and LH with the same potency as LHRH. These actions are mediated by specific receptors on the gonadotropes for LHRH, FSHRH and leptin. The responsiveness of the pituitary is controlled by gonadal steroids. In the gonad, NO plays an important role inducing ovulation and in causing luteolysis, whereas in the reproductive tract, it relaxes uterine muscle via cGMP and constricts it by prostaglandins.
Keywords: no and no synthase, nitroprusside, noergic neurons, fsh, lh, lhrh, fshrf
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