Seasonal variations of the β-endorphin neuronal system in the mediobasal hypothalamus of the jerboa (Jaculus orientalis)

Laboratoire de Physiologie Animale, Faculté des Sciences Dhar Mehrez -Fès, Université Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah, B.P.1796 Fès-Atlas, Morocco.
Neuroscience Letters (Impact Factor: 2.03). 04/2005; 376(2):107-10. DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2004.11.035
Source: PubMed


The distribution of neurons expressing beta-endorphin immunoreactivity was explored in the brain of adult jerboa during two distinct periods characterizing its reproductive cycle. A large presence of cell bodies displaying beta-endorphin immunoreactivity occured within different parts of the mediobasal hypothalamus along its rostrocaudal extent, from the retrochiasmatic area to the posterior arcuate nucleus. Quantitatively, the highest density of immunoreactive beta-endorphin neurons was noted at the medial level of the arcuate nucleus. Furthermore, a seasonal study showed that the number of IR-beta-endorphin neurons was highest in the anterior portion of the arcuate nucleus of jerboas sacrificed in autumn as compared to those sacrificed during spring-summer. Quantitatively, the number of beta-endorphin containing neurons in autumn was 200% in comparison to that found in spring-summer. These results suggest that beta-endorphin containing neuronal population especially localized in the anterior part of arcuate nucleus, exerts an inhibitory influence on the GnRH neurosecretory system in the jerboa, notably in autumn, probably via an increasing expression of its products. The results provide morphofunctional arguments in favour of inhibitory opioid control of GnRH neurons activity and hence the neuroendocrine events regulating reproduction in jerboa.

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    ABSTRACT: The corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) neurons of the hypothalamic parvocellular paraventricular nucleus (PVN) have a high potential for phenotypical plasticity, allowing them to rapidly modify their neuroendocrine output, depending upon the type of stressors. Indeed, these neurons coexpress other neuropeptides, such as cholecystokinin (CCK), vasopressin (VP), and neurotensin, subserving an eventual complementary function to CRH in the regulation of the pituitary. Unlike in rats, our previous data showed that in jerboas, CCK is not coexpressed within CRH neurons in control as well as stressed animals. The present study explored an eventual VP participation in the phenotypic plasticity of CRH neurons in the jerboa. We analyzed the VP expression within the PVN by immunocytochemistry in male jerboas submitted to acute stress. Our results showed that, contrary to CRH and CCK, no significant change concerned the number of VP-immunoreactive neurons following a 30-min immobilization. The VP/CRH coexpression within PVN and median eminence was investigated by double immunocytochemistry. In control as well as stressed animals, the CRH-immunopositive neurons coexpressed VP within cell bodies and terminals. No significant difference in the number of VP/CRH double-labeled cells was found between both groups. However, such coexpression was quantitatively more important into the posterior PVN as compared with the anterior PVN. This suggests an eventual autocrine/paracrine or endocrine role for jerboa parvocellular VP which is not correlated with acute immobilization stress. VP-immunoreactive neurons also coexpressed CCK within PVN and median eminence of control and stressed jerboas. Such coexpression was more important into the anterior PVN as compared with the posterior PVN. These results showed the occurrence of at least two VP neuronal populations within the jerboa PVN. In addition, the VP expression did not depend upon acute immobilization stress. These data highlight differences in the neuroendocrine regulatory mechanisms of the stress response involving CRH/CCK or VP. They also underline that adaptative physiological mechanisms to stress might vary from one mammal species to another.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2006 · Neuroendocrinology
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    No preview · Article · May 2006 · Journal of Neuroendocrinology
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    No preview · Article · Nov 2006 · Journal of Neuroendocrinology
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