Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist administration affects the thymopoiesis in adult female rats independently on gonadal hormone production
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PROBLEM: In addition to having an indirect effect on the T-cell development by controlling the production of ovarian steroids, an accumulating body of evidence suggest that GnRH analogue (GnRH-A) administration may exert a thymopoietic regulatory effect that is not mediated by ovarian hormones. METHOD OF STUDY: In non-ovariectomized (non-OVX) and OVX adult female AO rats treated s.c. with GnRH-A or saline (controls), over 14 days, were estimated the thymic cellularity and thymocyte expression of CD4/CD8/TCRalphabeta by stereological analysis and three-color flow cytometry, respectively. RESULTS: GnRH-A in both groups of rats diminished the thymic cellularity. In non-OVX rats GnRH-A increased the relative numbers of immature cells (CD4-8-TCRalphabeta(-), CD4-8-TCRalphabeta(low) and CD4+8-TCRalphabeta(low)), and reduced those of positively selected CD4+8+TCRalphabeta(high) and mature (CD4-8+TCRalphabeta(high), CD4+8-TCRalphabeta(high)) cells, suggesting decelerated expression of TCRalpha...beta followed by less efficient positive selection and further maturation of the selected cells. Differently, in OVX rats GnRH-A decreased the percentage of immature (CD4-8-TCRalphabeta(-), CD4+8+ TCRalphabeta(-)) cells and increased those of all TCRalphabeta(high) subsets, suggesting an increased rate of early thymocyte differentiation, more efficient positive selection and further maturation of the selected cells. CONCLUSIONS: The effect of GnRH-A administration is affected by the presence of ovarian steroids.
Keywords:distribution of thymocyte subsets / GnRH agonist chronic treatment / thymic cellularity
Source:American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 2005, 53, 1, 30-41
- Blackwell Munksgaard, Copenhagen