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      Attenuation of Luteinizing Hormone Surges in Neuropeptide Y Knockout Mice

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          To clarify the role of neuropeptide Y (NPY) in the regulation of the reproductive axis, these experiments evaluated the extent to which reproductive hormone secretions may be compromised in the absence of NPY expression. In NPY knockout (NPY-KO) and wild-type (WT) mice, hormone secretions were analyzed under conditions of basal release, following ovariectomy (OVX), in proestrus, after estrogen treatments which induce gonadotropin surges and after injection of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Radioimmunoassays of serum from metestrous females revealed that basal luteinizing hormone (LH), follicular-stimulating hormone (FSH), estrogen and progesterone levels, as well as hypothalamic GnRH tissue concentrations, were not different between the two genotypes. The LH and FSH levels and GnRH tissue concentrations were likewise similar in WT and NPY-KO mice 5 and 10 days following OVX. Significant differences in LH levels were observed however when animals were exposed to pheromone stimulation (male mouse urine) to induce preovulatory LH surges. In proestrous animals, mean LH levels at 18.30–19.00 h were reduced by about 66% in NPY-KO versus WT mice (4.33 ± 1.12 ng/ml in the WT mice vs. 1.47 ± 0.42 ng/ml in the NPY-KO mice, p = 0.028). Despite diminishment of LH surges in NPY-KO mice, corpora lutea were equally abundant in the ovaries of NPY-KO and WT mice. In an additional experiment, a surge-inducing regimen of estradiol-17-β (E<sub>2</sub>) and estradiol benzoate (E<sub>2</sub>B) was administered to OVX animals. The LH surges in the NPY-KO animals treated in this manner were again diminished by approximately 50% compared to corresponding values in WT animals (WT mice 7.33 ± 0.97 ng/ml, NPY-KO mice 3.58 ± 0.74 ng/ml; p = 0.0063). To assess the contribution of altered pituitary responsiveness to the diminishment of LH surges, LH responses to a GnRH challenge (200 ng/kg subcutaneously) were determined; NPY-KO animals exhibited LH responses that were significantly reduced compared to values in WT mice (WT mice 4.88 ± 0.56 ng/ml, NPY-KO mice 3.00 ± 0.41 ng/ml; p = 0.013). Taken together, these observations do not support the idea that NPY plays a major role in the regulation of basal gonadotropin secretion or in mediating negative feedback actions of gonadal hormones. They demonstrate however that preovulatory NPY release is required for normal amplification of the LH surge that occurs on proestrus. Involvement of NPY in the generation of normal LH surges is partially mediated by the ability of the peptide to prime the anterior pituitary gland to GnRH stimulation.

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          Sensitivity to leptin and susceptibility to seizures of mice lacking neuropeptide Y.

          Neuropeptide Y (NPY), a 36-amino-acid transmitter distributed throughout the nervous system, is thought to function as a central stimulator of feeding behaviour. NPY has also been implicated in the modulation of mood, cerebrocortical excitability, hypothalamic-pituitary signalling, cardiovascular physiology and sympathetic function. However, the biological significance of NPY has been difficult to establish owing to a lack of pharmacological antagonists. We report here that mice deficient for NPY have normal food intake and body weight, and become hyperphagic following food deprivation. Mutant mice decrease their food intake and lose weight, initially to a greater extent than controls, when treated with recombinant leptin. Occasional, mild seizures occur in NPY-deficient mice and mutants are more susceptible to seizures induced by a GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) antagonist. These results indicate that NPY is not essential for certain feeding responses or leptin actions but is an important modulator of excitability in the central nervous system.
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            Attenuation of the obesity syndrome of ob/ob mice by the loss of neuropeptide Y.

            The obesity syndrome of ob/ob mice results from lack of leptin, a hormone released by fat cells that acts in the brain to suppress feeding and stimulate metabolism. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a neuromodulator implicated in the control of energy balance and is overproduced in the hypothalamus of ob/ob mice. To determine the role of NPY in the response to leptin deficiency, ob/ob mice deficient for NPY were generated. In the absence of NPY, ob/ob mice are less obese because of reduced food intake and increased energy expenditure, and are less severely affected by diabetes, sterility, and somatotropic defects. These results suggest that NPY is a central effector of leptin deficiency.
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              Evidence that neuropeptide Y secretion in the median eminence increases prior to the luteinizing hormone surge in ovariectomized steroid-primed rats: Estimation by push-pull perfusion


                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                November 2000
                05 December 2000
                : 72
                : 5
                : 263-271
                Department of Neurobiology and Physiology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., USA
                54595 Neuroendocrinology 2000;72:263–271
                © 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 5, Tables: 1, References: 34, Pages: 9
                Gonadotropin Regulation and Sex Steroid Feedback


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