We previously reported that female rats placed on a diet containing refined carbohydrates (HCD) resulted in obesity and reproductive abnormalities, such as high serum LH concentration and abnormal ovarian function. However, the impacts at the hypothalamic-pituitary (HP) function, specifically regarding pathways linked to reproductive axis modulation are unknown. In this study, we assessed whether subacute feeding with HCD results in abnormal reproductive control in the HP axis. Female rats were fed with HCD for 15 days and reproductive HP axis morphophysiology was assessed. HCD reduced hypothalamic mRNA expression (Kiss1, Lepr, and Amhr2) and increased pituitary LHβ+ cells. These changes likely contribute to the increase in serum LH concentration observed in HCD. Blunted estrogen negative feedback was observed in HCD, with increased kisspeptin protein expression in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARH), lower LHβ+ cells and LH concentration in ovariectomized (OVX)+HCD rats. Thus, these data suggest that HCD feeding led to female abnormal reproductive control of HP axis.
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