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Publications (5)23.22 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Leptin is an adipocyte-derived hormone that acts on the hypothalamus to influence feeding, metabolism and reproduction, but the cellular and molecular targets for the action of leptin in the brain have yet to be fully elucidated. Kisspeptins are encoded by the Kiss1 gene, which is expressed in the hypothalamus and has been implicated in the neuroendocrine regulation of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone secretion. We tested the hypothesis that kisspeptin-expressing neurones are targets for leptin. First, we examined whether leptin regulates the expression of Kiss1 by comparing levels of KiSS-1 mRNA in the arcuate nucleus among groups of mice having different circulating levels of leptin: (i) wild-type (WT); (ii) leptin-deficient ob/ob; and (iii) ob/ob mice treated with leptin. All mice were castrated to control for endogenous concentrations of gonadal steroids. KiSS-1 mRNA was significantly reduced in ob/ob compared to WT mice and levels of KiSS-1 mRNA in ob/ob mice treated with leptin were increased, but not fully restored to that found in WT animals. Second, we performed double-label in situ hybridisation for KiSS-1 mRNA and the leptin receptor (Ob-Rb) mRNA and found that almost one-half (approximately 40%) of KiSS-1 mRNA-expressing cells in the arcuate nucleus expressed Ob-Rb mRNA. These results demonstrate that KiSS-1 neurones are direct targets for regulation by leptin and suggest that the reproductive deficits associated with leptin-deficient states may be attributable, in part, to diminished expression of Kiss1.
    Journal of Neuroendocrinology 05/2006; 18(4):298-303. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Galanin-like peptide (GALP) is a recently described neuropeptide, which shares a partial sequence identity with galanin but is derived from a separate gene. Central injections of GALP stimulate the secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) and induce the expression of Fos in several brain areas known to regulate male sexual behavior in the rat. We postulated that GALP may also stimulate sexual behavior in concert with its stimulatory effect on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. To test this hypothesis, we administered GALP, galanin, or the vehicle (artificial cerebrospinal fluid, aCSF) alone to sexually experienced male rats and assessed the effects of these agents on sexual behavior. We observed that compared to aCSF alone, GALP significantly increased all aspects of male-typical sexual behavior, whereas galanin inhibited all of these same behaviors. To examine whether the stimulatory effects of GALP on sexual behavior were mediated by GALP's stimulatory effects on the HPG axis, we castrated the same male rats and repeated the behavioral experiment. We found that GALP maintained its inductive action on male-typical sexual behaviors in the castrated animals, suggesting that the effects of GALP on sexual behavior are not the result of GALP's ability to stimulate testosterone secretion. These observations suggest that GALP neurons are part of the hypothalamic circuitry controlling sexual behavior in the male rat.
    Hormones and Behavior 01/2005; 46(5):551-7. · 3.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Kisspeptins are products of the KiSS-1 gene, which bind to a G protein-coupled receptor known as GPR54. Mutations or targeted disruptions in the GPR54 gene cause hypogonadotropic hypogonadism in humans and mice, suggesting that kisspeptin signaling may be important for the regulation of gonadotropin secretion. To examine the effects of kisspeptin-54 (metastin) and kisspeptin-10 (the biologically active C-terminal decapeptide) on gonadotropin secretion in the mouse, we administered the kisspeptins directly into the lateral cerebral ventricle of the brain and demonstrated that both peptides stimulate LH secretion. Further characterization of kisspeptin-54 demonstrated that it stimulated both LH and FSH secretion, at doses as low as 1 fmol; moreover, this effect was shown to be blocked by pretreatment with acyline, a potent GnRH antagonist. To learn more about the functional anatomy of kisspeptins, we mapped the distribution of KiSS-1 mRNA in the hypothalamus. We observed that KiSS-1 mRNA is expressed in areas of the hypothalamus implicated in the neuroendocrine regulation of gonadotropin secretion, including the anteroventral periventricular nucleus, the periventricular nucleus, and the arcuate nucleus. We conclude that kisspeptin-GPR54 signaling may be part of the hypothalamic circuitry that governs the hypothalamic secretion of GnRH.
    Endocrinology 10/2004; 145(9):4073-7. · 4.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Galanin-like peptide (GALP) is produced in a small population of neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus, and leptin stimulates the hypothalamic expression of GALP mRNA. Because insulin and leptin share common signaling pathways in the brain, we reasoned that GALP neurons might also be responsive to changes in circulating concentrations of insulin. To test this hypothesis, we first studied the effect of insulin deficiency on the expression of GALP by comparing levels of GALP mRNA between normal and diabetic animals. Streptozotocin-induced diabetes was associated with a significant reduction in the expression of GALP mRNA, which was reversed by treatment with either insulin or leptin. Second, we examined the effect of insulin administered directly into the brain on the expression of GALP mRNA in fasted rats. Hypothalamic levels of GALP mRNA were lower in animals after a 48-h fast, and central treatment with insulin reversed this effect. These results suggest that GALP neurons are direct targets for regulation by insulin and implicate these cells for a role in the metabolic and behavioral sequelae of type 1 diabetes.
    Diabetes 06/2004; 53(5):1237-42. · 7.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The KiSS-1 gene codes for a family of neuropeptides called kisspeptins which bind to the G-protein-coupled receptor GPR54. To assess the possible effects of kisspeptins on gonadotropin secretion, we injected kisspeptin-52 into the lateral cerebral ventricles of adult male rats and found that kisspeptin-52 increased the serum levels of luteinizing hormone (p < 0.05). To determine whether the kisspeptin-52-induced stimulation of luteinizing hormone secretion was mediated by gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), we pretreated adult male rats with a GnRH antagonist (acyline), then challenged the animals with intracerebroventricularly administered kisspeptin-52. The GnRH antagonist blocked the kisspeptin-52-induced increase in luteinizing hormone. To examine whether kisspeptins stimulate transcriptional activity in GnRH neurons, we administered kisspeptin-52 intracerebroventricularly and found by immunocytochemistry that 86% of the GnRH neurons coexpressed Fos 2 h after the kisspeptin-52 challenge, whereas fewer than 1% of the GnRH neurons expressed Fos following injection of the vehicle alone (p < 0.001). To assess whether kisspeptins can directly act on GnRH neurons, we used double-label in situ hybridization and found that 77% of the GnRH neurons coexpress GPR54 mRNA. Finally, to determine whether KiSS-1 gene expression is regulated by gonadal hormones, we measured KiSS-1 mRNA levels by single-label in situ hybridization in intact and castrated males and found significantly higher levels in the arcuate nucleus of castrates. These results demonstrate that GnRH neurons are direct targets for regulation by kisspeptins and that KiSS-1 mRNA is regulated by gonadal hormones, suggesting that KiSS-1 neurons play an important role in the feedback regulation of gonadotropin secretion.
    Neuroendocrinology 02/2004; 80(4):264-72. · 3.54 Impact Factor