Distribution of galanin receptor-2 immunoreactive neurones in the ovine hypothalamus: no evidence for involvement in the control of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone secretion.
ABSTRACT Galanin is a small neuropeptide that mediates its effects via three receptor isoforms: galanin receptor-1, galanin receptor-2 and galanin receptor-3 (Gal-R1, Gal-R2 and Gal-R3). Galanin is thought to be an important intermediate in signalling in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and has been widely detected in the ovine hypothalamus. The expression of galanin and Gal-R1 has been reported to fluctuate during the reproductive cycle. Although the distribution of Gal-R1 has been determined in the ovine hypothalamus, the distribution of Gal-R2 was hitherto unknown. Using immunohistological and immunofluorescence techniques, we have mapped the distribution of Gal-R2 in the ovine hypothalamus, collected during the follicular phase of the oestrous cycle and examined colocalisation of Gal-R2 with oestrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) and gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Gal-R2 was expressed in several regions of the hypothalamus (supraoptic nucleus, paraventricular nucleus, ventromedial nucleus, arcuate nucleus) but not as widely expressed as Gal-R1. Areas of Gal-R2 expression overlapped with those reported for Gal-R1. We observed that, in certain defined regions of the hypothalamus, up to 50% of neurones that express Gal-R2 also express ERalpha. No neurones coexpressed Gal-R2 and GnRH. Thus, we conclude that, in follicular phase animals, this receptor plays little or no role in direct intermediary signal transmission in GnRH-mediated control of the reproductive cycle.
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ABSTRACT: The neurotransmitter galanin has been implicated in the steroidogenic regulation of reproduction based on work mainly conducted in rodents. This study investigated the temporal changes in the expression of galanin and its three receptor isoforms and GNRH and GNRHR mRNA in specific hypothalamic nuclei known to be involved in the regulation of reproductive cyclicity, namely the medial pre-optic area (mPOA), the rostral mPOA/organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis, the paraventricular nucleus and the arcuate nucleus using an ovine model. Following synchronisation of their oestrous cycles, tissues were collected from ewes at five time points: the early follicular, mid follicular (MF) and late follicular phases and the early luteal and mid luteal phases. The results indicated significant differences in regional expression of most of the genes studied, with galanin mRNA expression being highest during the MF phase at the start of the GNRH/LH surge and the expression of the three galanin receptor (GalR) isoforms and GNRH and its receptor highest during the luteal phase. These findings are consistent with a role for galanin in the positive feedback effects of oestradiol (E(2)) on GNRH secretion and a role for progesterone induced changes in the pattern of expression of GalRs in the regulation of the timing of E(2)'s positive feedback through increased sensitivity of galanin-sensitive systems to secreted galanin.Journal of Endocrinology 12/2011; 212(3):353-61. · 4.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The long-term cellular effects of estrogens are mediated by nuclear estrogen receptors which act as transcription factors to regulate gene expression. Hypothalamic targets of estrogen action include luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone-secreting neurons controlling reproduction in vertebrates. Microarray analysis and qRT-PCR studies were performed on GT1-7, immortalized LHRH neurons after 17beta-estradiol treatment to reveal the nature of estrogen-regulated genes and the time course of changes in their expression profile. More than 1000 transcripts showed robust responses to estrogen treatment and the majority of responding genes were up-regulated. Early-responding genes showed altered expression 0.5-2h after estrogen exposure, whereas late-responding genes changed after 24-48h treatment. Up-regulated genes encoded transcription factors, molecules involved in cellular movement, cell death, immune response, neurotransmitter and neuropeptide receptors, ion channels and transporters. The 17beta-estradiol modulation of 12 genes - representing characteristic gene clusters - has been confirmed by qRT-PCR. Our studies highlighted diverse gene networks, cell regulatory mechanisms and metabolic pathways through which estrogen may alter gene expression in immortalized LHRH neurons. The findings also support the notion that genomic effects of estrogen targeting in vivo directly the LHRH neuronal network of mammals play an important role in the central feedback regulation of the reproductive axis by estrogen.Neurochemistry International 12/2008; 54(2):119-34. · 2.66 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Animals and humans are chronically exposed to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that are ubiquitous in the environment. There are strong circumstantial links between environmental EDC exposure and both declining human/wildlife reproductive health and the increasing incidence of reproductive system abnormalities. The verification of such links, however, is difficult and requires animal models exposed to 'real life', environmentally relevant concentrations/mixtures of environmental contaminants (ECs), particularly in utero, when sensitivity to EC exposure is high. The present study aimed to determine whether the foetal sheep reproductive neuroendocrine axis, particularly gondotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and galaninergic systems, were affected by maternal exposure to a complex mixture of chemicals, applied to pasture, in the form of sewage sludge. Sewage sludge contains high concentrations of a spectrum of EDCs and other pollutants, relative to environmental concentrations, but is frequently recycled to land as a fertiliser. We found that foetuses exposed to the EDC mixture in utero through their mothers had lower GnRH mRNA expression in the hypothalamus and lower GnRH receptor (GnRHR) and galanin receptor (GALR) mRNA expression in the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. Strikingly, this, treatment had no significant effect on maternal GnRH or GnRHR mRNA expression, although GALR mRNA expression within the maternal hypothalamus and pituitary gland was reduced. The present study clearly demonstrates that the developing foetal neuroendocrine axis is sensitive to real-world mixtures of environmental chemicals. Given the important role of GnRH and GnRHR in the regulation of reproductive function, its known role programming role in utero, and the role of galanin in the regulation of many physiological/neuroendocrine systems, in utero changes in the activity of these systems are likely to have long-term consequences in adulthood and represent a novel pathway through which EC mixtures could perturb normal reproductive function.Journal of Neuroendocrinology 03/2010; 22(6):527-33. · 3.33 Impact Factor