ABSTRACT: Growing evidence suggests the tachykinin neurokinin B (NKB) may modulate gonadotrophin secretion and play a role in sex-steroid feedback within the reproductive axis. NKB signalling has recently been identified as being necessary for normal human reproductive function, although the precise mechanisms underpinning this role remain to be established. We have used rodents to explore further the role of NKB within the reproductive axis. In particular, we have studied its interactions with kisspeptin, a neuropeptide essential for reproductive function in rodent and human with close anatomical links to NKB within the hypothalamus. Intraperitoneal administration of NKB (50 nmol) to male mice had no effect on circulating luteinsing hormone (LH) levels and, although i.p. kisspeptin (15 nmol) increased LH five-fold, co-administration of NKB and kisspeptin was indistinguishable from kisspeptin alone. Intracerebroventricular administration of NKB (10 nmol) to male mice also had no effect on LH levels, with 1 nmol kisspeptin i.c.v. significantly increasing LH compared to control (0.37 +/- 0.18 versus 5.11 +/- 0.28 ng/ml, respectively). Interestingly, i.c.v. co-administration of NKB and kisspeptin caused a significant increase in LH concentrations compared to kisspeptin alone (8.96 +/- 1.82 versus 5.11 +/- 0.28 ng/ml respectively). We used hypothalamic explants from rats to assess the effect of NKB on gonadotrpohin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion ex vivo. Doses of NKB up to 1000 nm failed to stimulate GnRH secretion, whereas 100 nm kisspeptin robustly increased GnRH secretion. Of note, co-administration of NKB with kisspeptin abrogated the effect of kisspeptin, producing no GnRH release above basal state. Finally, we analysed the expression of Tac2/Tacr3 (genes encoding NKB and NK3R, respectively) within the arcuate nucleus in different nutritional states. After a 48-h fast, the expression of both Tac2 and Tacr3 showed a significant increase, in contrast to levels of Kiss1 and Kiss1r mRNA, which remained unchanged. In male rodent models, NKB and kisspeptin have different effects upon gonadotrophin release and appear to interact in a complex manner.
Journal of Neuroendocrinology 03/2010; 22(3):181-7. · 3.14 Impact Factor