Current methodology to monitor pulsatile LH release in mice is limited by inadequate assay sensitivity, resulting in the need for collection of large blood volumes. Thus, assessment of pulsatile LH secretion in mice remains highly challenging, and observations are limited to adult mice. To address this, we developed a highly sensitive ELISA for assessment of mouse LH concentrations in small fractions of whole blood. We demonstrate that this assay is capable of reliably detecting LH down to a theoretical limit of 0.117 ng/mL in a 2-μL fraction of whole blood. Using an established frequent blood collection procedure, we validated the accuracy of this method by determining the pulsatile LH secretion in early-adult (10 weeks old) C57BL6/J male mice. Data demonstrate regular pulsatile release of LH, with peaks in LH secretion rarely exceeding 3 ng/mL. Moreover, assessment of LH release in Gpr54 knockout mice demonstrates the lack of pulsatile LH release after the loss of kisspeptin-mediated pubertal maturation. We next determined age-associated changes in pulsatile LH secretion by assessment of LH secretion in prepubertal (28 days old) C57BL6/J male mice and repeated assessment in the same mice in adulthood (120 days old). Data demonstrate that the rise in total LH secretion in mice after pubertal maturation occurs along with an overall rise in the pulsatile LH secretion rate. This was coupled with a significant increase in the number of LH secretory events (number of pulses). In addition, we observed a decrease in the clearance (increased half-life) and a decrease in the regularity (approximate entropy) of LH release. This method will be of wide general utility within the field of reproductive biology.
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