Genital Sensation: CNS Targets and Functions in Females

comments on Blaustein et al paper

Barry R. Komisaruk

Dear Jeff, et al:
Congratulations on an excellent set of studies.  A question and a comment-suggestion immediately come to mind: 1) what do you think is the non-progestin ligand for the progestin receptors that mediate the turned-on receptivity?; 2) We showed that a 1-second vaginocervical stimulation can turn on lordosis responding to flank-perineum palpation that persists for 2-3 hours (without any subsequent vaginocervical stimulation) in ovariectomized rats with NO ESTROGEN TREATMENT (Rodriguez-Sierra, Crowley and Komisaruk, 1975. Vaginal stimulation induces sexual receptivity to males, and prolonged lordosis responsiveness in rats.  J. Comp. physiol. Psychol. 89: 79-85).  Is this prolonged lordosis responsiveness also mediated by the progestin receptor, and what is the ligand in that case?  There is another context that would be interesting to study.  We found that HYPOPHYSECTOMIZED-ovariectomized rats WITH NO STEROID TREATMENT (neither estrogen nor progesterone) showed lordosis just to flank-perineum palpation (no cervical stimulation necessary).  This was true of about half of over 100 hypox rats we tested.  By contrast, very few of the ovariectomized-only rats (i.e. not hypox) showed lordosis to flank-perineum palpation.  The lordosis response was attenuated significantly by administration of dihydrotestosterone, the idea being that LHRH-LH may have been increased by the hypox procedure and facilitated the lordosis, and the DHT inhibited the LHRH-LH but did not stimulate lordosis responding.  Might this, too, be mediated by the progestin receptor? (Crowley, Rodriguez-Sierra and Komisaruk, 1976. Hypophysectomy facilitates sexual behavior in female rats. Neuroendocrinology 20: 328-338).
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