Reciprocal Cross Talk between Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH) and Prostaglandin Receptors Regulates GnRH Receptor Expression and Differential Gonadotropin Secretion

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The asynchronous secretion of gonadotrope LH and FSH under the control of GnRH is crucial for ovarian cyclicity but the underlying mechanism is not fully resolved. Because prostaglandins (PG) are autocrine regulators in many tissues, we determined whether they have this role in gonadotropes. We first demonstrated that GnRH stimulates PG synthesis by induction of cyclooxygenase-2, via the protein kinase C/c-Src/phosphatidylinositol 3′-kinase/MAPK pathway in the LβT2 gonadotrope cell line. We then demonstrated that PGF2α and PGI2, but not PGE2 inhibited GnRH receptor expression by inhibition of phosphoinositide turnover. PGF2α, but not PGI2 or PGE2, reduced GnRH-induction of LHβ gene expression, but not the α-gonadotropin subunit or the FSHβ subunit genes. The prostanoid receptors EP1, EP2, FP, and IP were expressed in rat gonadotropes. Incubations of rat pituitaries with PGF2α, but not PGI2 or PGE2, inhibited GnRH-induced LH secretion, whereas the cyclooxygenase inhibitor, indomethacin, stimulated GnRH-induced LH secretion. None of these treatments had any effect on GnRH-induced FSH secretion. The findings have thus elaborated a novel GnRH signaling pathway mediated by PGF2α-FP and PGI2-IP, which acts through an autocrine/paracrine modality to limit autoregulation of the GnRH receptor and differentially inhibit LH and FSH release. These findings provide a mechanism for asynchronous LH and FSH secretions and suggest the use of combination therapies of GnRH and prostanoid analogs to treat infertility, diseases with unbalanced LH and FSH secretion and in hormone-dependent diseases such as prostatic cancer.

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