GnRH-I is thought to represent the primary neuroendocrine link between the brain and the reproductive axis. Recently, however, a second molecular form of this decapeptide (GnRH-II) was found to be highly expressed in the brains of humans and nonhuman primates. In this study, in situ hybridization was used to examine the regional expression of GnRH-II messenger ribonucleic acid in the hypothalamus of immature (0.6 yr) and adult (10-15 yr) male and female rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Overall, no sex-related differences were observed. In all of the animals (n = 3 animals/group), intense hybridization of a monkey GnRH-II riboprobe was evident in the paraventricular nucleus and supraoptic nucleus and to a lesser extent in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, but no age- or sex-related differences were apparent. Intense hybridization of the riboprobe also occurred in the mediobasal hypothalamus, and this was markedly greater in the adults than in the immature animals. These data show that the expression of GnRH-II messenger ribonucleic acid increases developmentally in a key neuroendocrine center of the brain. Moreover, because GnRH-II can stimulate LH release in vivo, it is plausible that changes in its gene expression represent an important component of the mechanism by which the hypothalamus controls reproductive function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical