Shift in Kiss1 Cell Activity Requires Estrogen Receptor α.

Division of Hypothalamic Research, Department of Internal Medicine, Touchstone Diabetes Center, Department of Internal Medicine, and Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 6.75). 02/2013; 33(7):2807-20. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1610-12.2013
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Reproductive function requires timely secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which is controlled by a complex excitatory/inhibitory network influenced by sex steroids. Kiss1 neurons are fundamental players in this network, but it is currently unclear whether different conditions of circulating sex steroids directly alter Kiss1 neuronal activity. Here, we show that Kiss1 neurons in the anteroventral periventricular and anterior periventricular nuclei (AVPV/PeN) of males and females exhibit a bimodal resting membrane potential (RMP) influenced by K(ATP) channels, suggesting the presence of two neuronal populations defined as type I (irregular firing patterns) and type II (quiescent). Kiss1 neurons in the arcuate nucleus (Arc) are also composed of firing and quiescent cells, but unlike AVPV/PeN neurons, the range of RMPs did not follow a bimodal distribution. Moreover, Kiss1 neuronal activity in the AVPV/PeN, but not in the Arc, is sexually dimorphic. In females, estradiol shifts the firing pattern of AVPV/PeN Kiss1 neurons and alters cell capacitance and spontaneous IPSCs amplitude of AVPV/PeN and Arc Kiss1 populations in an opposite manner. Notably, mice with selective deletion of estrogen receptor α (ERα) from Kiss1 neurons show cellular activity similar to that observed in ovariectomized females, suggesting that estradiol-induced changes in Kiss1 cellular properties require ERα. We also show that female prepubertal Kiss1 neurons are under higher inhibitory influence and all recorded AVPV/PeN Kiss1 neurons were spontaneously active. Collectively, our findings indicate that changes in cellular activity may underlie Kiss1 action in pubertal initiation and female reproduction.

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    ABSTRACT: Reproduction requires adequate energy stores for parents and offspring to survive. Kiss1 neurons, which are essential for fertility, have the potential to serve as the central sensors of metabolic factors that signal to the reproductive axis the presence of stored calories. Paradoxically, obesity is often accompanied by infertility. Despite excess circulating levels of insulin and leptin, obese individuals exhibit resistance to both metabolic factors in many neuron types. Thus, resistance to insulin or leptin in Kiss1 neurons could lead to infertility. Single deletion of the receptors for either insulin or the adipokine leptin from Kiss1 neurons does not impair adult reproductive dysfunction. However, insulin and leptin signaling pathways may interact in such a way as to obscure their individual functions. We hypothesized that in the presence of genetic or obesity-induced concurrent insulin and leptin resistance, Kiss1 neurons would be unable to maintain reproductive function. We therefore induced a chronic hyperinsulinemic and hyperleptinemic state in mice lacking insulin receptors in Kiss1 neurons through high fat feeding and examined the impact on fertility. In an additional, genetic model, we ablated both leptin and insulin signaling in Kiss1 neurons (IR/LepRKiss mice). Counter to our hypothesis, we found that the addition of leptin insensitivity did not alter the reproductive phenotype of IRKiss mice. We also found that weight gain, body composition, glucose and insulin tolerance were normal in mice of both genders. Nonetheless, leptin and insulin receptor deletion altered pubertal timing as well as LH and FSH levels in mid-puberty in a reciprocal manner. Our results confirm that Kiss1 neurons do not directly mediate the critical role that insulin and leptin play in reproduction. However, during puberty kisspeptin neurons may experience a critical window of susceptibility to the influence of metabolic factors that can modify the onset of fertility.
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