BACKGROUND : The inverse relationship between GnRH transcript level and GABA neurons activity has suggested that GABA at the hypothalamic level may exert a suppressive effect on subsequent steps of the GnRH biosynthesis. In the present study, we analyzed the effects of GABA type A receptor agonist (muscimol) or antagonist (bicuculline) on molecular mechanisms governing GnRH/LH secretion in follicular-phase sheep. METHODS : ELISA technique was used to investigate the effects of muscimol and/or bicuculline on levels of post-translational products of genes encoding GnRH ligand and GnRH receptor (GnRHR) in the preoptic area (POA), anterior (AH) and ventromedial (VMH) hypothalamus, stalk/median eminence (SME), and GnRHR in the anterior pituitary (AP). Real-time PCR was chosen for determination of the effect of drugs on kisspeptin (Kiss 1) mRNA level in POA and VMH including arcuate nucleus (VMH/ARC), and on Kiss1 receptor (Kiss1r) mRNA abundance in POA-hypothalamic structures. These analyses were supplemented by RIA method for measurement of plasma LH concentration. RESULTS : The study demonstrated that muscimol and bicuculline significantly decreased or increased GnRH biosynthesis in all analyzed structures, respectively, and led to analogous changes in plasma LH concentration. Similar muscimol- and bicuculline-related alterations were observed in levels of GnRHR. However, the expression of Kiss 1 and Kiss1r mRNAs in selected POA-hypothalamic areas of either muscimol- and bicuculline-treated animals remained unaltered. CONCLUSIONS : Our data suggest that GABAergic neurotransmission is involved in the regulatory pathways of GnRH/GnRHR biosynthesis and then GnRH/LH release in follicular-phase sheep conceivably via indirect mechanisms that exclude involvement of Kiss 1 neurons.