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      The role of GABA in the regulation of GnRH neurons

      1 , 1 , 2 , 3 , 4

      Frontiers in Neuroscience

      Frontiers Media S.A.

      GnRH neuron, GABA, KCC2, NKCC1, LH surge

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          Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons form the final common pathway for the central regulation of reproduction. Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) has long been implicated as one of the major players in the regulation of GnRH neurons. Although GABA is typically an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mature adult central nervous system, most mature GnRH neurons show the unusual characteristic of being excited by GABA. While many reports have provided much insight into the contribution of GABA to the activity of GnRH neurons, the precise physiological role of the excitatory action of GABA on GnRH neurons remains elusive. This brief review presents the current knowledge of the role of GABA signaling in GnRH neuronal activity. We also discuss the modulation of GABA signaling by neurotransmitters and neuromodulators and the functional consequence of GABAergic inputs to GnRH neurons in both the physiology and pathology of reproduction.

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          Most cited references 93

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          Kisspeptin directly stimulates gonadotropin-releasing hormone release via G protein-coupled receptor 54.

          We have recently described a molecular gatekeeper of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis with the observation that G protein-coupled receptor 54 (GPR54) is required in mice and men for the pubertal onset of pulsatile luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) secretion to occur. In the present study, we investigate the possible central mode of action of GPR54 and kisspeptin ligand. First, we show that GPR54 transcripts are colocalized with gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons in the mouse hypothalamus, suggesting that kisspeptin, the GPR54 ligand, may act directly on these neurons. Next, we show that GnRH neurons seem anatomically normal in gpr54-/- mice, and that they show projections to the median eminence, which demonstrates that the hypogonadism in gpr54-/- mice is not due to an abnormal migration of GnRH neurons (as occurs with KAL1 mutations), but that it is more likely due to a lack of GnRH release or absence of GnRH neuron stimulation. We also show that levels of kisspeptin injected i.p., which stimulate robust LH and FSH release in wild-type mice, have no effect in gpr54-/- mice, and therefore that kisspeptin acts directly and uniquely by means of GPR54 signaling for this function. Finally, we demonstrate by direct measurement, that the central administration of kisspeptin intracerebroventricularly in sheep produces a dramatic release of GnRH into the cerebrospinal fluid, with a parallel rise in serum LH, demonstrating that a key action of kisspeptin on the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis occurs directly at the level of GnRH release. The localization and GnRH release effects of kisspeptin thus define GPR54 as a major control point in the reproductive axis and suggest kisspeptin to be a neurohormonal effector.
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            A role for kisspeptins in the regulation of gonadotropin secretion in the mouse.

            Kisspeptins are products of the KiSS-1 gene, which bind to a G protein-coupled receptor known as GPR54. Mutations or targeted disruptions in the GPR54 gene cause hypogonadotropic hypogonadism in humans and mice, suggesting that kisspeptin signaling may be important for the regulation of gonadotropin secretion. To examine the effects of kisspeptin-54 (metastin) and kisspeptin-10 (the biologically active C-terminal decapeptide) on gonadotropin secretion in the mouse, we administered the kisspeptins directly into the lateral cerebral ventricle of the brain and demonstrated that both peptides stimulate LH secretion. Further characterization of kisspeptin-54 demonstrated that it stimulated both LH and FSH secretion, at doses as low as 1 fmol; moreover, this effect was shown to be blocked by pretreatment with acyline, a potent GnRH antagonist. To learn more about the functional anatomy of kisspeptins, we mapped the distribution of KiSS-1 mRNA in the hypothalamus. We observed that KiSS-1 mRNA is expressed in areas of the hypothalamus implicated in the neuroendocrine regulation of gonadotropin secretion, including the anteroventral periventricular nucleus, the periventricular nucleus, and the arcuate nucleus. We conclude that kisspeptin-GPR54 signaling may be part of the hypothalamic circuitry that governs the hypothalamic secretion of GnRH.
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              Roles of the cation-chloride cotransporters in neurological disease.

              In the nervous system, the intracellular chloride concentration ([Cl(-)](i)) determines the strength and polarity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-mediated neurotransmission. [Cl(-)](i) is determined, in part, by the activities of the SLC12 cation-chloride cotransporters (CCCs). These transporters include the Na-K-2Cl cotransporter NKCC1, which mediates chloride influx, and various K-Cl cotransporters--such as KCC2 and KCC3-that extrude chloride. A precise balance between NKCC1 and KCC2 activity is necessary for inhibitory GABAergic signaling in the adult CNS, and for excitatory GABAergic signaling in the developing CNS and the adult PNS. Altered chloride homeostasis, resulting from mutation or dysfunction of NKCC1 and/or KCC2, causes neuronal hypoexcitability or hyperexcitability; such derangements have been implicated in the pathogenesis of seizures and neuropathic pain. [Cl(-)](i) is also regulated to maintain normal cell volume. Dysfunction of NKCC1 or of swelling-activated K-Cl cotransporters has been implicated in the damaging secondary effects of cerebral edema after ischemic and traumatic brain injury, as well as in swelling-related neurodegeneration. CCCs represent attractive therapeutic targets in neurological disorders the pathogenesis of which involves deranged cellular chloride homoestasis.

                Author and article information

                Front Neurosci
                Front Neurosci
                Front. Neurosci.
                Frontiers in Neuroscience
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                28 November 2014
                : 8
                1Department of Neurophysiology, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine Hamamatsu, Japan
                2Department of Developmental Physiology, National Institute for Physiological Sciences Okazaki, Japan
                3Core Research for Evolutionary Science and Technology, Japan Science and Technology Corporation Saitama, Japan
                4Department of Physiological Sciences, The Graduate School for Advanced Study Hayama, Japan
                Author notes

                Edited by: Ishwar Parhar, Monash University, Malaysia

                Reviewed by: Oline K. Ronnekleiv, Oregen Health & Science University, USA; José A. Muñoz-Cueto, University of Cadiz, Spain

                *Correspondence: Miho Watanabe, Department of Neurophysiology, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, 1-20-1 Handayama, Higashi-ku, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka 431-3192, Japan e-mail: mihow@ 123456hama-med.ac.jp

                This article was submitted to Neuroendocrine Science, a section of the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience.

                Copyright © 2014 Watanabe, Fukuda and Nabekura.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 104, Pages: 9, Words: 7938
                Review Article


                gnrh neuron, gaba, kcc2, nkcc1, lh surge


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