Progesterone attenuates the effect of the 5-HT1A receptor agonist, 8-OH-DPAT, and of mild restraint on lordosis behavior

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Ovariectomized, hormone-primed rats were used to test the hypothesis that progesterone treatment attenuated the effects of the 5-HT1A receptor agonist, (±)-8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin (8-OH-DPAT), on female rat lordosis behavior. Based upon prior evidence that prepriming with estradiol benzoate (EB) reduced the ability of 8-OH-DPAT to inhibit lordosis behavior, rats were preprimed with 10 μg EB 7 days before a second priming with 10 μg EB followed 48 h later with 500 μg progesterone or vehicle. Independent of the presence of progesterone, prepriming with EB attenuated the lordosis-inhibiting effects of systemic treatment with 8-OH-DPAT. However, progesterone also reduced the effects of 8-OH-DPAT and this effect was also seen in females primed only once with EB. In contrast, progesterone was relatively ineffective in attenuating the effects of bilateral infusion with 8-OH-DPAT into the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMN). The failure of progesterone to substantially reduce the effects of VMN infusion with 8-OH-DPAT contrasts with prior studies in which estrogen's protective action against the drug did include the VMN. Thus, while both estrogen and progesterone reduce the lordosis-inhibiting effect of 8-OH-DPAT, the mechanisms responsible for the effects of the two gonadal hormones may be different. Priming with progesterone also prevented the effects of 5 min of restraint. When rats were hormonally primed with EB and oil, rats showed a transient, but significant, decline in lordosis behavior 5 and 10 min after restraint. Rats primed with EB and progesterone were unaffected by the restraint. These results are discussed in terms of their implications for the role of progesterone in altering the 5-HT1A receptor modulation of lordosis behavior. © 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

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