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Influence of Age and 17 beta-Estradiol on Kisspeptin, Neurokinin B, and Prodynorphin Gene Expression in the Arcuate-Median Eminence of Female Rhesus Macaques

Division of Neuroscience, Oregon National Primate Research Center, Beaverton, Oregon 97006, USA.
Endocrinology (Impact Factor: 4.64). 08/2010; 151(8):3783-94. DOI: 10.1210/en.2010-0198
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The neuropeptides kisspeptin, neurokinin B, and dynorphin A (collectively abbreviated as KNDy) are, respectively, encoded by KiSS-1, NKB, and PDYN and are coexpressed by neurons of the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC). Here, using quantitative real-time PCR, we examined age-related changes in the expression of genes encoding KNDy and associated receptors G protein-coupled receptor 54 (encoded by GPR54), neurokinin 3 receptor (encoded by NK3), and kappa-opioid receptor (encoded by KOR), in the female rhesus macaque ARC-median eminence (ARC-ME). Expression of KiSS-1 and NKB was highly elevated in old perimenopausal compared with young or middle-aged premenopausal animals. To test whether these age-related changes could be attributed to perimenopausal loss of sex steroids, we then examined KNDy, GPR54, NK3, and KOR expression changes in response to ovariectomy (OVX) and exposure to 17beta-estradiol (E(2)). Short-term (7 months) OVX (with or without 1 month of estrogen replacement) failed to modulate the expression of any of the KNDy-related genes. In contrast, long-term ( approximately 4 yr) OVX significantly increased KiSS-1 and NKB expression, and this was reversed by E(2) administration. Finally, we examined the expression of KNDy-related genes in young adult females during the early follicular, late follicular, or midluteal phases of their menstrual cycle but found no difference. Together, the results suggest that short-term alterations in circulating E(2) levels, such as those occurring during the menstrual cycle, may have little effect on the ARC-ME expression of KNDy and associated receptors. Nevertheless, they clearly demonstrate that loss of ovarian steroid negative feedback that occurs during perimenopause plays a major role in modulating the activity of KNDy circuits of the aging primate ARC-ME.

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