Gonadotropin Inhibitory Hormone Down-Regulates the Brain-Pituitary Reproductive Axis of Male European Sea Bass (Dicentrarchus labrax)1

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Abstract

Gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH) inhibits gonadotropin synthesis and release from the pituitary of birds and mammals. However, the physiological role of orthologous GnIH peptides on the reproductive axis of fish is still uncertain, and their actions on the main neuroendocrine systems controlling reproduction (i.e., GnRHs, kisspeptins) have received little attention. In a recent study performed in the European sea bass, we cloned a cDNA encoding a precursor polypeptide that contained C-terminal MPMRFamide (sbGnIH-1) and MPQRFamide (sbGnIH-2) peptide sequences, developed a specific antiserum against sbGnIH-2, and characterized its central and pituitary GnIH projections in this species. In this study, we analyzed the effects of intracerebroventricular injection of sbGnIH-1 and sbGnIH-2 on brain and pituitary expression of reproductive hormone genes (gnrh1, gnrh2, gnrh3, kiss1, kiss2, gnih, lhbeta, fshbeta), and their receptors (gnrhr II-1a, gnrhr II-2b, kiss1r, kiss2r, and gnihr) as well as on plasma Fsh and Lh levels. In addition, we determined the effects of GnIH on pituitary somatotropin (Gh) expression. The results obtained revealed the inhibitory role of sbGnIH-2 on brain gnrh2, kiss1, kiss2, kiss1r, gnih, and gnihr transcripts and on pituitary fshbeta, lhbeta, gh, and gnrhr-II-1a expression, whereas sbGnIH-1 only down-regulated brain gnrh1 expression. However, at different doses, central administration of both sbGnIH-1 and sbGnIH-2 decreased Lh plasma levels. Our work represents the first study reporting the effects of centrally administered GnIH in fish and provides evidence of the differential actions of sbGnIH-1 and sbGnIH-2 on the reproductive axis of sea bass, the main inhibitory role being exerted by the sbGnIH-2 peptide.

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