To assess the effects of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist, [d-Leu6,des-Gly10] luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone ethylamide, in ameliorating the damage caused by ionizing radiation, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist was administered to rats from day 22 to 37 of age in doses of 0.1, 0.4, and 1.0 µg/day or vehicle and the rats were sacrificed on day 44 of age. There were no effects on estradiol, progesterone, luteinizing, or follicle-stimulating hormone, nor an effect on ovarian follicle numbers or development. In separate experiments, rats treated with gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist in doses of 0.04, 0.1, 0.4, or 1.0 µg/day were either irradiated or sham irradiated on day 30 and all groups sacrificed on day 44 of age. Irradiation produced a reduction in ovarian weight and an increase in ovarian follicular atresia. Pretreatment with the agonist prevented the reduction in ovarian weight and numbers of primordial and preantral follicles but not healthy or atretic antral follicles. Such putative radioprotection should be tested on actual reproductive performance.

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Supported by the National Cancer Institute of Canada and the Physicians Services Incorporated Foundation of Ontario.

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