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Differential regulation of kiss1 expression by melatonin and gonadal hormones in male and female Syrian hamsters

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In seasonal breeders, reproduction is synchronized to seasons by day length via the pineal hormone melatonin. Recently, we have demonstrated that Kiss1, a key activator of the reproductive function, is down-regulated in sexually inactive hamsters maintained in inhibitory short days (SDs). In rodents, Kiss1 is expressed in the anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPV) and in the arcuate nucleus (ARC). Because both the duration of the nocturnal peak of melatonin and circulating sex steroid levels vary with photoperiod, the aim of this study was to determine whether melatonin and sex steroids differentially regulate Kiss1 expression in the ARC and the AVPV. Kiss1 expression was examined by in situ hybridization in both male and female hamsters kept in various experimental conditions, and we observed that 1) SD exposure markedly reduced Kiss1 expression in the ARC and AVPV of male and female hamsters as compared to LD animals, 2) sex steroid treatment in SD-adapted male and female hamsters increased the number of Kiss1 neurons in the AVPV but decreased it in the ARC, 3) melatonin administration to LD-adapted hamsters decreased Kiss1 mRNA level in both the AVPV and the ARC in intact animals, whereas in castrated hamsters, melatonin rapidly inhibited Kiss1 expression in the ARC but not in the AVPV, and 4) pinealectomy of male or female SD-adapted hamsters increased the number of Kiss1 neurons in the ARC but not in the AVPV. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that Kiss1 expression in the Syrian hamster hypothalamus is down-regulated in SD via different mechanisms. In the ARC, melatonin inhibits Kiss1 via a direct effect on the hypothalamus, and this effect is probably sex steroid dependent, whereas in the AVPV, the decrease in Kiss1 expression appears to be secondary to the melatonin-driven reduction of sex steroid levels. Taken together, our data support the hypothesis that ARC Kiss1 neurons mediate melatonin effects on the gonadotropic axis of the Syrian hamster.
TidsskriftJournal of Biological Rhythms
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)81-91
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 1 apr. 2010

ID: 31075682