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      Selective optogenetic activation of arcuate kisspeptin neurons generates pulsatile luteinizing hormone secretion

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      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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          Abstract

          Normal reproductive functioning in mammals depends upon gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons generating a pulsatile pattern of gonadotropin secretion. The neural mechanism underlying the episodic release of GnRH is not known, although recent studies have suggested that the kisspeptin neurons located in the arcuate nucleus (ARN) may be involved. In the present experiments we expressed channelrhodopsin (ChR2) in the ARN kisspeptin population to test directly whether synchronous activation of these neurons would generate pulsatile luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion in vivo. Characterization studies showed that this strategy targeted ChR2 to 70% of all ARN kisspeptin neurons and that, in vitro, these neurons were activated by 473-nm blue light with high fidelity up to 30 Hz. In vivo, the optogenetic activation of ARN kisspeptin neurons at 10 and 20 Hz evoked high amplitude, pulse-like increments in LH secretion in anesthetized male mice. Stimulation at 10 Hz for 2 min was sufficient to generate repetitive LH pulses. In diestrous female mice, only 20-Hz activation generated significant increments in LH secretion. In ovariectomized mice, 5-, 10-, and 20-Hz activation of ARN kisspeptin neurons were all found to evoke LH pulses. Part of the sex difference, but not the gonadal steroid dependence, resulted from differential pituitary sensitivity to GnRH. Experiments in kisspeptin receptor-null mice, showed that kisspeptin was the critical neuropeptide underlying the ability of ARN kisspeptin neurons to generate LH pulses. Together these data demonstrate that synchronized activation of the ARN kisspeptin neuronal population generates pulses of LH.

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          Most cited references 41

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          Regulation of Kiss1 gene expression in the brain of the female mouse.

          The Kiss1 gene encodes a family of neuropeptides called kisspeptins, which activate the receptor G protein-coupled receptor-54 and play a role in the neuroendocrine regulation of GnRH secretion. We examined whether estradiol (E2) regulates KiSS-1 in the forebrain of the female mouse by comparing KiSS-1 mRNA expression among groups of ovary-intact (diestrus), ovariectomized (OVX), and OVX plus E2-treated mice. In the arcuate nucleus (Arc), KiSS-1 expression increased after ovariectomy and decreased with E2 treatment. Conversely, in the anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPV), KiSS-1 expression was reduced after ovariectomy and increased with E2 treatment. To determine whether the effects of E2 on KiSS-1 are mediated through estrogen receptor (ER)alpha or ERbeta, we evaluated the effects of E2 in OVX mice that lacked functional ERalpha or ERbeta. In OVX mice that lacked functional ERalpha, KiSS-1 mRNA did not respond to E2 in either the Arc or AVPV, suggesting that ERalpha is essential for mediating the inhibitory and stimulatory effects of E2. In contrast, KiSS-1 mRNA in OVX mice that lacked functional ERbeta responded to E2 exactly as wild-type animals. Double-label in situ hybridization revealed that virtually all KiSS-1-expressing neurons in the Arc and AVPV coexpress ERalpha, suggesting that the effects of E2 are mediated directly through KiSS-1 neurons. We conclude that KiSS-1 neurons in the Arc, which are inhibited by E2, may play a role in the negative feedback regulation of GnRH secretion, whereas KiSS-1 neurons in the AVPV, which are stimulated by E2, may participate in the positive feedback regulation of GnRH secretion.
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            Minireview: kisspeptin/neurokinin B/dynorphin (KNDy) cells of the arcuate nucleus: a central node in the control of gonadotropin-releasing hormone secretion.

            Recently, a subset of neurons was identified in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus that colocalize three neuropeptides, kisspeptin, neurokinin B, and dynorphin, each of which has been shown to play a critical role in the central control of reproduction. Growing evidence suggests that these neurons, abbreviated as the KNDy subpopulation, are strongly conserved across a range of species from rodents to humans and play a key role in the physiological regulation of GnRH neurons. KNDy cells are a major target for steroid hormones, form a reciprocally interconnected network, and have direct projections to GnRH cell bodies and terminals, features that position them well to convey steroid feedback control to GnRH neurons and potentially serve as a component of the GnRH pulse generator. In addition, recent work suggests that alterations in KNDy cell peptides may underlie neuroendocrine defects seen in clinical reproductive disorders such as polycystic ovarian syndrome. Taken together, this evidence suggests a key role for the KNDy subpopulation as a focal point in the control of reproductive function in health and disease.
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              Regulation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone secretion by kisspeptin/dynorphin/neurokinin B neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the mouse.

              Kisspeptin is encoded by the Kiss1 gene, and kisspeptin signaling plays a critical role in reproduction. In rodents, kisspeptin neurons in the arcuate nucleus (Arc) provide tonic drive to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons, which in turn supports basal luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion. Our objectives were to determine whether preprodynorphin (Dyn) and neurokinin B (NKB) are coexpressed in Kiss1 neurons in the mouse and to evaluate its physiological significance. Using in situ hybridization, we found that Kiss1 neurons in the Arc of female mice not only express the Dyn and NKB genes but also the NKB receptor gene (NK3) and the Dyn receptor [the kappa opioid receptor (KOR)] gene. We also found that expression of the Dyn, NKB, KOR, and NK3 in the Arc are inhibited by estradiol, as has been established for Kiss1, and confirmed that Dyn and NKB inhibit LH secretion. Moreover, using Dyn and KOR knock-out mice, we found that long-term disruption of Dyn/KOR signaling compromises the rise of LH after ovariectomy. We propose a model whereby NKB and dynorphin act autosynaptically on kisspeptin neurons in the Arc to synchronize and shape the pulsatile secretion of kisspeptin and drive the release of GnRH from fibers in the median eminence.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proc Natl Acad Sci USA
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                0027-8424
                1091-6490
                October 20 2015
                October 20 2015
                October 20 2015
                October 06 2015
                : 112
                : 42
                : 13109-13114
                Article
                10.1073/pnas.1512243112
                26443858
                © 2015

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