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      Kisspeptin Activation of Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone Neurons and Regulation of KiSS-1 mRNA in the Male Rat

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          Abstract

          The KiSS-1 gene codes for a family of neuropeptides called kisspeptins which bind to the G-protein-coupled receptor GPR54. To assess the possible effects of kisspeptins on gonadotropin secretion, we injected kisspeptin-52 into the lateral cerebral ventricles of adult male rats and found that kisspeptin-52 increased the serum levels of luteinizing hormone (p < 0.05). To determine whether the kisspeptin-52-induced stimulation of luteinizing hormone secretion was mediated by gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), we pretreated adult male rats with a GnRH antagonist (acyline), then challenged the animals with intracerebroventricularly administered kisspeptin-52. The GnRH antagonist blocked the kisspeptin-52-induced increase in luteinizing hormone. To examine whether kisspeptins stimulate transcriptional activity in GnRH neurons, we administered kisspeptin-52 intracerebroventricularly and found by immunocytochemistry that 86% of the GnRH neurons coexpressed Fos 2 h after the kisspeptin-52 challenge, whereas fewer than 1% of the GnRH neurons expressed Fos following injection of the vehicle alone (p < 0.001). To assess whether kisspeptins can directly act on GnRH neurons, we used double-label in situ hybridization and found that 77% of the GnRH neurons coexpress GPR54 mRNA. Finally, to determine whether KiSS-1 gene expression is regulated by gonadal hormones, we measured KiSS-1 mRNA levels by single-label in situ hybridization in intact and castrated males and found significantly higher levels in the arcuate nucleus of castrates. These results demonstrate that GnRH neurons are direct targets for regulation by kisspeptins and that KiSS-1 mRNA is regulated by gonadal hormones, suggesting that KiSS-1 neurons play an important role in the feedback regulation of gonadotropin secretion.

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          Most cited references 19

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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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            The KiSS-1 receptor GPR54 is essential for the development of the murine reproductive system.

            GPR54 is a G-protein-coupled receptor that displays a high percentage of identity in the transmembrane domains with the galanin receptors. The ligand for GPR54 has been identified as a peptide derived from the KiSS-1 gene. KiSS-1 has been shown to have anti-metastatic effects, suggesting that KiSS-1 or its receptor represents a potential therapeutic target. To further our understanding of the physiological function of this receptor, we have generated a mutant mouse line with a targeted disruption of the GPR54 receptor (GPR54 -/-). The analysis of the GPR54 mutant mice revealed developmental abnormalities of both male and female genitalia and histopathological changes in tissues which normally contain sexually dimorphic features. These data suggest a role for GPR54/KiSS-1 in normal sexual development, and indicate that study of the GPR54 mutant mice may provide valuable insights into human reproductive syndromes.
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              Developmental and hormonally regulated messenger ribonucleic acid expression of KiSS-1 and its putative receptor, GPR54, in rat hypothalamus and potent luteinizing hormone-releasing activity of KiSS-1 peptide.

              The gonadotropic axis is centrally controlled by a complex regulatory network of excitatory and inhibitory signals that is activated at puberty. Recently, loss of function mutations of the gene encoding G protein-coupled receptor 54 (GPR54), the putative receptor for the KiSS-1-derived peptide metastin, have been associated with lack of puberty onset and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. Yet the pattern of expression and functional role of the KiSS-1/GPR54 system in the rat hypothalamus remain unexplored to date. In the present work, expression analyses of KiSS-1 and GPR54 genes were conducted in different physiological and experimental settings, and the effects of central administration of KiSS-1 peptide on LH release were assessed in vivo. Persistent expression of KiSS-1 and GPR54 mRNAs was detected in rat hypothalamus throughout postnatal development, with maximum expression levels at puberty in both male and female rats. Hypothalamic expression of KiSS-1 and GPR54 genes changed throughout the estrous cycle and was significantly increased after gonadectomy, a rise that was prevented by sex steroid replacement both in males and females. Moreover, hypothalamic expression of the KiSS-1 gene was sensitive to neonatal imprinting by estrogen. From a functional standpoint, intracerebroventricular administration of KiSS-1 peptide induced a dramatic increase in serum LH levels in prepubertal male and female rats as well as in adult animals. In conclusion, we provide novel evidence of the developmental and hormonally regulated expression of KiSS-1 and GPR54 mRNAs in rat hypothalamus and the ability of KiSS-1 peptide to potently stimulate LH secretion in vivo. Our current data support the contention that the hypothalamic KiSS-1/GPR54 system is a pivotal factor in central regulation of the gonadotropic axis at puberty and in adulthood.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NEN
                Neuroendocrinology
                10.1159/issn.0028-3835
                Neuroendocrinology
                S. Karger AG
                0028-3835
                1423-0194
                2004
                January 2005
                25 January 2005
                : 80
                : 4
                : 264-272
                Affiliations
                Departments of aMedicine, bPhysiology and Biophysics, cObstetrics and Gynecology, and dBiology and eThe Undergraduate Program in Neurobiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash., USA
                Article
                83140 Neuroendocrinology 2004;80:264–272
                10.1159/000083140
                15665556
                © 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 6, References: 31, Pages: 9
                Categories
                Original Paper

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