The localization of kisspeptin and kisspeptin receptor in the canine ovary during different stages of the reproductive cycle

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Kisspeptin is a neuropeptide involved in the hypothalamic regulation of reproduction in many species. Recent studies have revealed kisspeptin within the ovaries of rats, Siberian hamsters and humans, indicating a local role in reproduction. However, the role of kisspeptin in the ovary is poorly understood in the bitch. This study investigated the presence and location of kisspeptin protein (KISS1) and kisspeptin receptors (KISS1R) in the canine ovary during different stages of the reproductive cycle (pre-pubertal, anoestrus and cycling) by means of immunohistochemical staining. Ovaries from 24 bitches presented at local veterinary clinics for routine ovariohysterectomy were collected and grouped based on reproductive stage (pre-pubertal, anoestrus and cycling (proestrus, oestrus and dioestrus)). The presence or absence of immunoreactive KISS1 and KISS1R was recorded without any quantification of the levels of expression within cells. Immunoreactive KISS1 was found in the oocytes during all stages of the oestrous cycle, in the granulosa cells during all stages except anoestrus and in the corpus luteum (CL) during dioestrus. KISS1 was absent in the ovaries of pre-pubescent bitches. Immunoreactive KISS1R were consistently found in the oocytes, primordial follicles, the granulosa cells and CL in cycling bitches. The finding of KISS1R in the granulosa cells is suggestive that kisspeptin and progesterone may be linked as this pattern of staining is seen in animals that show preovulatory luteinisation of follicles during oestrus, KISS1R were also observed in the ovaries of pre-pubescent and anoestrous bitches, suggesting a possible role of kisspeptin in oocyte proliferation, development and maturation of granulosa cells, and progesterone production. This study provides a starting point for the establishment of a canine model for kisspeptin regulation within the ovary.

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