Developmental changes in the mammalian gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH) ortholog RFamide-related peptide (RFRP) and its cognate receptor GPR147 in the rat hypothalamus.
ABSTRACT The mammalian gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH) ortholog RFamide-related peptide (RFRP) is considered to act on gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons and on the pituitary to inhibit gonadotropin release and synthesis. To understand the functional significance of this neuropeptide, we investigated the physiological changes in RFRP at mRNA and peptide levels, as well as at the mRNA level of its cognate receptor, G protein-coupled receptor 147 (GPR147), in the rat hypothalamus during development. We also investigated the effects of gonadal steroids on mRNA expression levels of these molecules. In male rats, mRNA expressions of both RFRP and GPR147 increased from postnatal days 12 and 16, peaking at postnatal days 35 and 42, respectively. However, their expressions fell at postnatal day 49. In female rats, mRNA expression of RFRP continued to increase throughout development; mRNA expression of GPR147 in female rats increased from postnatal day 16, peaking at postnatal day 28, but decreased from postnatal day 35. The hypothalamic contents of RFRP on postnatal days 28 and 42 were significantly higher than on postnatal day 4 in male rats, and those on postnatal day 42 were significantly higher than those on postnatal days 4 and 28 in females. Neither orchidectomy nor ovariectomy influenced mRNA expression levels of RFRP or GPR147 in the prepubertal period when endogenous sex steroid levels were low in males and females. Administration of estradiol-17β (E2) increased mRNA expression of RFRP in prepubertal females. These results suggest that the hypothalamic RFRP system changes during development. An ovarian sex steroid, E2, may stimulate mRNA expression of RFRP in the prepubertal period when the basal E2 concentration is low.
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ABSTRACT: A novel RFamide peptide, gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH) has emerged as a modulator of avian reproduction. However, the functional role of the mammalian homologue, RFRP-3 remains poorly understood. The RFRP-3 neuronal circuit is influenced by the stress axis. However, whether the Rfrp gene is under direct glucocorticoid (GC)-mediated transcriptional regulation, in the presence and absence of the gonadal steroid, 17β-estradiol, is unknown. We investigated the regulation of the Rfrp (GnIH) and Gpr147 (GnIH-R) transcripts by steroids in a novel hypothalamic Rfrp-expressing cell model, rHypoE-23. The GC agonist, dexamethasone increased Rfrp and Gpr147 mRNA levels. Dexamethasone acted directly on the nuclear GC receptor (GR) to mediate GC-dependent transcriptional changes, independently of de novo protein synthesis. 17β-estradiol had no significant effect on Rfrp or Gpr147 biosynthesis in these neurons. This suggests that Rfrp-expressing neurons serve as potential upstream mediators of stress-induced effects through GR-dependent mechanisms.Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 01/2014; · 4.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Glucocorticoid secretion is a key endocrine response to stress. It has been reported that prenatal stress induces long-lasting alterations in body weight regulation systems, which persist after the stress has ceased. In this study, the long-term effects of prenatal glucocorticoid exposure on body weight changes and the expression of appetite-regulating factors were examined in female rats. Pregnant rats were given normal drinking water (control) or dexamethasone (1μg/mL) dissolved in drinking water (DEX) from day 13 of pregnancy until delivery. Then, the body weight change, serum leptin levels, and hypothalamic NPY mRNA levels of their offspring were examined. The DEX dams gained significantly less body weight during pregnancy than the control dams. The DEX dams' offspring exhibited a significantly lower birth weight than the offspring of the control dams, and the same was true for body weight at postnatal days 20 and 28. The offspring of the DEX dams displayed significantly higher serum leptin levels and significantly lower hypothalamic NPY mRNA levels compared with the offspring of the control dams. Significant inverse correlations were detected between body weight and the serum leptin level, and between the serum leptin level and the hypothalamic NPY mRNA level. On the other hand, a significant positive correlation was detected between body weight and the hypothalamic NPY mRNA level. These results indicate that leptin production is increased in a long-lasting manner in offspring exposed to glucocorticoids during the prenatal period and that this results in attenuated body weight gain and hypothalamic NPY expression during the pre-pubertal period.International journal of developmental neuroscience: the official journal of the International Society for Developmental Neuroscience 04/2014; · 2.03 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: RF-amide-related peptide-3 (RFRP-3), the mammalian ortholog of the avian gonadotropin-inhibiting hormone (GnIH), operates via the NPFF1 receptor (NPFF1R) to repress the reproductive axis, therefore acting as counterpart of the excitatory RF-amide peptide, kisspeptin (ligand of Gpr54). In addition, RFRP-3 modulates feeding and might contribute to the integrative control of energy homeostasis and reproduction. Yet, the experimental evidence supporting these putative functions is mostly indirect, and the physiological roles of RFRP-3 remain debatable and obscured by the lack of proper analytical tools and models. To circumvent these limitations, we characterize herein the first mouse line with constitutive inactivation of NPFF1R. Ablation of NPFF1R did not compromise fertility; rather, litters from NPFF1R null mice were larger than those from wild-type animals. Pubertal timing was not altered in NPFF1R deficient mice; yet, pre-pubertal KO males displayed elevated LH levels, which normalized after puberty. Adult NPFF1R null male mice showed increased Kiss1 expression in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus, higher serum FSH levels and enhanced LH responses to GnRH. However, genetic elimination of NPFF1R was unable to reverse the state of hypogonadism caused by the lack of kisspeptin signaling, as revealed by double NPFF1R/Gpr54 KO mice. NPFF1R null mice displayed altered feedback responses to gonadal hormone withdrawal. In addition, metabolic challenges causing gonadotropin suppression, such as short-term fasting and high-fat diet, were less effective in dampening LH secretion in NPFF1R deficient male mice, suggesting that absence of this inhibitory pathway partially prevented gonadotropin suppression by metabolic stress. Our data are the first to document the impact of elimination of GnIH signaling on reproductive parameters and their modulation by metabolic challenges. While, in keeping with its inhibitory role, the NPFF1R pathway seems dispensable for preserved puberty and fertility, our results surface different alterations due to the lack of GnIH signaling that prominently include changes in the sensitivity to fasting- and obesity-associated hypogonadotropism.Endocrinology 05/2014; · 4.72 Impact Factor