Arcuate and preoptic Kisspeptin neurons exhibit differential projections to hypothalamic nuclei and exert opposite postsynaptic effects on hypothalamic paraventricular and dorsomedial nuclei in the female mouse

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Abstract

Kisspeptin (Kiss1) neurons provide indispensable excitatory input to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons, which is important for the coordinated release of gonadotropins, estrous cyclicity and ovulation. However, Kiss1 neurons also send projections to many other brain regions within and outside the hypothalamus. Two different populations of Kiss1 neurons, one in the arcuate nucleus (Kiss1ARH) and another in the anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPV) and periventricular nucleus (PeN; Kiss1AVPV/PeN) of the hypothalamus are differentially regulated by ovarian steroids, and are believed to form direct contacts with GnRH neurons as well as other neurons. To investigate the projection fields from Kiss1AVPV/PeN and Kiss1ARH neurons in female mice, we used anterograde projection analysis, and channelrhodopsin-assisted circuit mapping (CRACM) to explore their functional input to select target neurons within the paraventricular (PVH) and dorsomedial (DMH) hypothalamus, key preautonomic nuclei. Cre-dependent viral (AAV1-DIO-ChR2 mCherry) vectors were injected into the brain to label the two Kiss1 neuronal populations. Immunocytochemistry (ICC) for mCherry and neuropeptides combined with confocal microscopy was used to determine the projection-fields of both Kiss1 neuronal groups. Whole-cell electrophysiology and optogenetics were used to elucidate the functional input to the PVH and DMH. Our analysis revealed many common but also several clearly separate projection fields between the two different populations of Kiss1 neurons. In addition, optogenetic stimulation of Kiss1 projections to PVH prodynorphin, Vglut2 and DMH CART-expressing neurons, revealed excitatory glutamatergic input from Kiss1ARH neurons and inhibitory GABAergic input from Kiss1AVPV/PeN neurons. Therefore, these steroid-sensitive Kiss1 neuronal groups can differentially control the excitability of target neurons to coordinate autonomic functions with reproduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberENEURO.0093-21.2021
JournaleNeuro
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

Keywords

  • Homeostasis
  • Neural circuitry
  • Optogenetics
  • Preautonomic
  • Reproduction
  • Viral tract tracing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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