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      Negative Regulation of Neuromedin U mRNA Expression in the Rat Pars Tuberalis by Melatonin

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          Abstract

          The pars tuberalis (PT) is part of the anterior pituitary gland surrounding the median eminence as a thin cell layer. The characteristics of PT differ from those of the pars distalis (PD), such as cell composition and gene expression, suggesting that the PT has a unique physiological function compared to the PD. Because the PT highly expresses melatonin receptor type 1, it is considered a mediator of seasonal and/or circadian signals of melatonin. Expression of neuromedin U (NMU) that is known to regulate energy balance has been previously reported in the rat PT; however, the regulatory mechanism of NMU mRNA expression and secretion in the PT are still obscure. In this study, we examined both the diurnal change of NMU mRNA expression in the rat PT and the effects of melatonin on NMU in vivo. In situ hybridization and quantitative PCR analysis of laser microdissected PT samples revealed that NMU mRNA expression in the PT has diurnal variation that is high during the light phase and low during the dark phase. Furthermore, melatonin administration significantly suppressed NMU mRNA expression in the PT in vivo. On the other hand, 48 h fasting did not have an effect on PT-NMU mRNA expression, and the diurnal change of NMU mRNA expression was maintained. We also found the highest expression of neuromedin U receptor type 2 (NMUR2) mRNA in the third ventricle ependymal cell layer, followed by the arcuate nucleus and the spinal cord. These results suggest that NMU mRNA expression in the PT is downregulated by melatonin during the dark phase and shows diurnal change. Considering that NMU mRNA in the PT showed the highest expression level in the brain, PT-NMU may act on NMUR2 in the brain, especially in the third ventricle ependymal cell layer, with a circadian rhythm.

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          Most cited references 50

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          Thyrotrophin in the pars tuberalis triggers photoperiodic response.

          Molecular mechanisms regulating animal seasonal breeding in response to changing photoperiod are not well understood. Rapid induction of gene expression of thyroid-hormone-activating enzyme (type 2 deiodinase, DIO2) in the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH) of the Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) is the earliest event yet recorded in the photoperiodic signal transduction pathway. Here we show cascades of gene expression in the quail MBH associated with the initiation of photoinduced secretion of luteinizing hormone. We identified two waves of gene expression. The first was initiated about 14 h after dawn of the first long day and included increased thyrotrophin (TSH) beta-subunit expression in the pars tuberalis; the second occurred approximately 4 h later and included increased expression of DIO2. Intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of TSH to short-day quail stimulated gonadal growth and expression of DIO2 which was shown to be mediated through a TSH receptor-cyclic AMP (cAMP) signalling pathway. Increased TSH in the pars tuberalis therefore seems to trigger long-day photoinduced seasonal breeding.
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            Light-induced hormone conversion of T4 to T3 regulates photoperiodic response of gonads in birds.

            Reproduction of many temperate zone birds is under photoperiodic control. The Japanese quail is an excellent model for studying the mechanism of photoperiodic time measurement because of its distinct and marked response to changing photoperiods. Studies on this animal have suggested that the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH) is an important centre controlling photoperiodic time measurement. Here we report that expression in the MBH of the gene encoding type 2 iodothyronine deiodinase (Dio2), which catalyses the intracellular deiodination of thyroxine (T4) prohormone to the active 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3), is induced by light in Japanese quail. Intracerebroventricular administration of T3 mimics the photoperiodic response, whereas the Dio2 inhibitor iopanoic acid prevents gonadal growth. These findings demonstrate that light-induced Dio2 expression in the MBH may be involved in the photoperiodic response of gonads in Japanese quail.
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              Involvement of thyrotropin in photoperiodic signal transduction in mice.

              Local thyroid hormone catabolism within the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH) by thyroid hormone-activating (DIO2) and -inactivating (DIO3) enzymes regulates seasonal reproduction in birds and mammals. Recent functional genomics analysis in birds has shown that long days induce thyroid-stimulating hormone production in the pars tuberalis (PT) of the pituitary gland, which triggers DIO2 expression in the ependymal cells (EC) of the MBH. In mammals, nocturnal melatonin secretion provides an endocrine signal of the photoperiod to the PT that contains melatonin receptors in high density, but the interface between the melatonin signal perceived in the PT and the thyroid hormone levels in the MBH remains unclear. Here we provide evidence in mice that TSH participates in this photoperiodic signal transduction. Although most mouse strains are considered to be nonseasonal, a robust photoperiodic response comprising induced expression of TSHB (TSH beta subunit), CGA (TSH alpha subunit), and DIO2, and reduced expression of DIO3, was observed in melatonin-proficient CBA/N mice. These responses could not be elicited in melatonin-deficient C57BL/6J, but treatment of C57BL/6J mice with exogenous melatonin elicited similar effects on the expression of the above-mentioned genes as observed in CBA/N after transfer to short-day conditions. The EC was found to express TSH receptor (TSHR), and ICV injection of TSH induced DIO2 expression. Finally, we show that melatonin administration did not affect the expression of TSHB, DIO2, and DIO3 in TSHR-null mice. Taken together, our findings suggest that melatonin-dependent regulation of thyroid hormone levels in the MBH appears to involve TSH in mammals.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1932-6203
                2013
                2 July 2013
                : 8
                : 7
                Affiliations
                Area of Regulatory Biology, Division of Life Science, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Saitama University, Sakuraku, Saitama, Japan
                Morehouse School of Medicine, United States of America
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: SA IS TS. Performed the experiments: SA MN. Analyzed the data: SA IS. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: YH. Wrote the paper: SA TS.

                Article
                PONE-D-13-08011
                10.1371/journal.pone.0067118
                3699551
                23843987

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Pages: 9
                Funding
                The authors have no support or funding to report.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Biology
                Anatomy and Physiology
                Endocrine System
                Endocrine Physiology
                Neuroendocrinology
                Physiological Processes
                Chronobiology
                Biochemistry
                Neurochemistry
                Neuroendocrinology
                Hormones
                Genetics
                Molecular Genetics
                Gene Regulation
                Molecular Cell Biology
                Signal Transduction
                Membrane Receptor Signaling
                Hormone Receptor Signaling
                Neuroscience
                Neurochemistry
                Neuroendocrinology
                Medicine
                Anatomy and Physiology
                Endocrine System
                Endocrine Physiology
                Hormones
                Neuroendocrinology
                Physiological Processes
                Chronobiology
                Endocrinology
                Endocrine Physiology
                Hormones
                Neuroendocrinology
                Neuroendocrinology
                Pituitary

                Uncategorized

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