Project: Research project

Project Details


Cocaine is a commonly abused drug among reproductive age women. there is
emerging clinical evidence that chronic cocaine use in women is associated
with reproductive dysfunction, including decreased libido, irregular
menstrual cycles and amenorrhea. Despite the growing epidemic of cocaine
abuse and evidence associating it with reproductive dysfunction, there are
no control studies that have assessed the effects of chronic cocaine use
on hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis and menstrual cyclicity in women or
subhuman primates. Studies in rats have demonstrated cocaine disrupts
estrous cyclicity, decreases ovulation rates and alters hypothalamic
neurotransmitters that regulate gonadotropin-releasing hormone release.
Extrapolation these findings to women or subhuman primates may not be
appropriate because the regulation of reproductive function differs
between rodents and primates. Accordingly, this proposal will assess the
effects of daily follicular phase cocaine administration on reproductive
function in normally cycling rhesus monkeys. The studies proposed will:
(1) characterize the dose-response effects of daily follicular-phase
cocaine administration on menstrual cyclicity, gonadotropin and ovarian
steroid levels, ovulation rates, and corpus luteum function, (2)
characterize the effects of daily follicular-phase cocaine administration
on gonadotropin pulsatility, (3) determine whether daily follicular-phase
cocaine administration directly impairs pituitary gonadotropin secretion,
and (4) determine whether daily follicular-phase cocaine administration
directly affects ovarian steroid secretion and ovulation. To accomplish
these aims, monkeys will be placed in a mobile vest and tether assembly to
allow drug administration and blood sampling without anesthesia or stress
which are known to impair circulating hormone levels and ovarian/menstrual
cyclicity. These studies will define cocaine's disruptive effects on
ovarian/menstrual cyclicity and ovulation, and determine the dose of
cocaine required to disrupt cyclicity. These studies will also determine
cocaine's site of action within the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis,
from which future studies may better determine cocaine's mechanism of
action within each site in the axis. This information will be of value in
the clinical management of reproductive dysfunction related to cocaine
Effective start/end date8/1/946/30/98


  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)


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