Chapter 2: hypothalamic neural systems controlling the female reproductive life cycle gonadotropin-releasing hormone, glutamate, and GABA.

Institute for Neuroscience, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712, USA.
International review of cell and molecular biology (Impact Factor: 4.52). 02/2009; 274:69-127. DOI: 10.1016/S1937-6448(08)02002-9
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis undergoes a number of changes throughout the reproductive life cycle that are responsible for the development, puberty, adulthood, and senescence of reproductive systems. This natural progression is dictated by the neural network controlling the hypothalamus including the cells that synthesize and release gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and their regulatory neurotransmitters. Glutamate and GABA are the primary excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, and as such contribute a great deal to modulating this axis throughout the lifetime via their actions on receptors in the hypothalamus, both directly on GnRH neurons as well as indirectly through other hypothalamic neural networks. Interactions among GnRH neurons, glutamate, and GABA, including the regulation of GnRH gene and protein expression, hormone release, and modulation by estrogen, are critical to age-appropriate changes in reproductive function. Here, we present evidence for the modulation of GnRH neurosecretory cells by the balance of glutamate and GABA in the hypothalamus, and the functional consequences of these interactions on reproductive physiology across the life cycle.


Available from: Andrea C Gore, Jun 02, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Different neurotransmitter and neuromodulatory systems regulate synthesis and secretion of GnRH. Whereas the endocrine and neural systems are activated in response to the metabolic status and the circulating levels of specific blood metabolites, glutamate receptors have been reported at hepatic level. This study evaluated the possible effect of glutamate supplementation upon changes in serum concentrations across time for total protein (TP), urea (UR) and cholesterol (CL) around the onset of puberty in goats. Prepuberal female goats (n=18) were randomly assigned to: (1) excitatory amino acids group, GLUT, n=10; 16.52±1.04kg live weight (LW), 3.4±0.12 body condition score (BCS) receiving an i.v. infusion of 7mgkg(-1) LW of l-glutamate, and (2) Control group, CONT, n=8; 16.1±1.04kg LW, 3.1±0.12 BCS. General averages for LW (23.2±0.72kg), BCS (3.37±0.10 units), serum TP (65.28±2.46mgdL(-1)), UR (23.42±0.95mgdL(-1)), CL (77.89±1.10mgdL(-1)) as well as the serum levels for TP and UR across time did not differ (P>0.05) between treatments. However, while GLUT positively affected (P<0.05) both the onset (207±9 vs. 225±12 d) and the percentage (70 vs. 25%) of females showing puberty, a treatment×time interaction effect (P<0.05) was observed in the GLUT group, with increases in serum cholesterol, coincident with the onset of puberty. Therefore, in peripuberal glutamate supplemented goats, serum cholesterol profile could act as a metabolic modulator for the establishment of puberty, denoting also a potential role of glutamate as modulator of lipid metabolism.
    Animal Reproduction Science 04/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.anireprosci.2014.04.004 · 1.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aging is the phenotype resulting from accumulation of genetic, cellular, and molecular damages. Many factors have been identified as either the cause or consequence of age-related decline in functions and repair mechanisms. The hypothalamus is the source and a target of many of these factors and hormones responsible for the overall homeostasis in the body. With advanced age, the sensitivity of the hypothalamus to various feedback signals begins to decline. In recent years, several aging-related genes have been identified and their signaling pathways elucidated. These gene products include mTOR, IKK-β/NF-κB complex, and HIF-1α, an important cellular survival signal. All of these activators/modulators of the aging process have also been identified in the hypothalamus and shown to play crucial roles in nutrient sensing, metabolic regulation, energy balance, reproductive function, and stress adaptation. This illustrates the central role of the hypothalamus in aging. Inside the mitochondria, succinate is one of the most prominent intermediates of the Krebs cycle. Succinate oxidation in mitochondria provides the most powerful energy output per unit time. Extra-mitochondrial succinate triggers a host of succinate receptor (SUCN1 or GPR91)-mediated signaling pathways in many peripheral tissues including the hypothalamus. One of the actions of succinate is to stabilize the hypoxia and cellular stress conditions by inducing the transcriptional regulator HIF-1α. Through these actions, it is hypothesized that succinate has the potential to restore the gradual but significant loss in functions associated with cellular senescence and systemic aging.
    Frontiers in Endocrinology 02/2015; 6:7. DOI:10.3389/fendo.2015.00007
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    ABSTRACT: Increasing incidents of disorders such as obesity/diabetes/metabolic syndrome, reproductive dysfunction, and neuro-developmental abnormalities in some human populations have raised concern that disruption of key endocrine-signaling pathways by exposure to environmental chemicals may be involved. This Detailed Review Paper describes some endocrine pathways that have been shown to be susceptible to environmental endocrine disruption and whose disruption could contribute to increasing incidents of some disorders in humans and wildlife populations. Assays and endpoints are described that could be used in new or existing Organization for Economic Cooperative Development (OECD) Test Guidelines for evaluating chemicals for endocrine-disrupting activity. Endocrine pathways evaluated were the hypothalamus:pituitary:adrenocortical (HPA) axis, the hypothalamus:pituitary:gonad (HPG) axis, the somatotropic axis, the retinoid signaling pathway, the hypothalamus:pituitary:thyroid (HPT) axis, the vitamin D signaling pathway, and the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) signaling pathway. In addition, the potential role of chemical-induced epigenetic modifications to endocrine signaling pathways, during sensitive windows of exposure, was evaluated as a mechanism of endocrine disruption, along with the examination of potential methods for assessing such disruption. This section is provided as an annex to the document (Annex 1). Potential targets of disruption along putative adverse outcome pathways associated with the signaling pathways were identified, along with assays that show promise in evaluating the target in a screening and testing program. Disruption of the HPA or retinoid X receptor signaling pathways could contribute to disorders of emerging concern, and adverse outcome pathways are well defined. However, assays for the assessment of disruption of these pathways are less well developed, and in some cases, are not specific to the pathway. Several new assays were described for the detection of disruption of the HPT axis. These assays may complement assays in the existing Test Guidelines and strengthen the adverse outcome pathway lineage. Assays for the detection of vitamin D signaling disruption and novel aspects of the HPG axis (membrane receptor signaling, progestin signaling) require further development and refinement prior to consideration for incorporation into Test Guidelines. Disruption of the somatotropic axis is likely to occur through disruption of other signaling pathways that cross-talk with the somatotropic axis. Disruption of the somatotropic axis may thus provide a more holistic view of the general integrity of the endocrine system. PPARs are involved in lipid and glucose homeostasis, inflammation, and aspects of development. The adverse outcome pathway for PPARγ is well established. Assays used to assess disruption of PPAR signaling are well developed, and many are suitable for incorporation into existing OECD Test Guidelines. In conclusion, OECD Test Guidelines could be modified to include new assays or the incorporation of novel endpoints into existing assays that would expand the repertoire of endocrine signaling pathways included in the screening and testing regimen