Regulation of gonadotropin production involves interplay between steroids and neuropeptides, and we have examined the effects of gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRH I and GnRH II) on progesterone receptor (PR) activation in alphaT3-1 pituitary cells. Treatment with GnRHs activated a progester-one response element (PRE)-luciferase reporter gene, and this was blocked by protein kinase C and protein kinase A inhibitors but not by RU486. Treatment with GnRHs phosphorylated the PR at Ser(294) and increased PR translocation to the nucleus within 1 h. Interactions between the PR and several coactivators were examined, and treatment with GnRHs specifically induced PR-steroid receptor coactivator-3 (SRC-3) interactions within 8 h. In chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, recruitment of PR and SRC-3 by the PREs of the luciferase reporter gene or the gonadotopin alpha-subunit gene promoter was also increased by GnRHs within 8 h, while progesterone-induced recruitment of PR to the PREs occurred in association with much less SRC-3. A small interfering RNA knockdown of type I GnRH receptor levels reduced PR activation by GnRHs, while progesterone-dependent PR activation was unaffected. Moreover, small interfering RNA knockdown of SRC-3 abolished PRE-luciferase trans-activation by the PR in response to GnRHs. Collectively, these data indicate that PR activation by GnRHs in alphaT3-1 cells is type I GnRH receptor-mediated and that trans-activation of PR-responsive genes requires SRC-3 in this context.