Antecedent short-term central nervous system administration of estrogen and progesterone alters counterregulatory responses to hypoglycemia in conscious male rats.Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Dec; 293(6):E1511-6.AJ
The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that antecedent short-term administration of estradiol or progesterone into the central nervous system (CNS) reduces levels of neuroendocrine counterregulatory hormones during subsequent hypoglycemia. Conscious unrestrained male Sprague-Dawley rats were studied during randomized 2-day experiments. Day 1 consisted of an 8-h lateral ventricle infusion of estradiol (1 mug/mul; n = 9), progesterone (1 mug/mul; n = 9), or saline (0.2 mul/min; n = 10). On day 2, a 2-h hyperinsulinemic (30 pmol.kg(-1).min(-1)) hypoglycemic (2.9 +/- 0.2 mM) clamp was performed on all rats. Central administration of estradiol on day 1 resulted in significantly lower plasma epinephrine levels during hypoglycemia compared with saline, whereas central administration of progesterone resulted in increased levels of plasma norepinephrine and decreased levels of corticosterone both at baseline and during hypoglycemia. Glucagon responses during hypoglycemia were unaffected by prior administration of estradiol or progesterone. Endogenous glucose production following day 1 estradiol was significantly lower during day 2 hypoglycemia, and consequently, the glucose infusion rate to maintain the glycemia was significantly greater after estradiol administration compared with saline. These data suggest that 1) CNS administration of both female reproductive hormones can have rapid effects in modulating levels of counterregulatory hormones during subsequent hypoglycemia in conscious male rats, 2) forebrain administration of reproductive hormones can significantly reduce pituitary adrenal and sympathetic nervous system drive during hypoglycemia, 3) reproductive steroid hormones produce differential effects on sympathetic nervous system activity during hypoglycemia, and 4) reduction of epinephrine resulted in significantly blunted metabolic counterregulatory responses during hypoglycemia.