Hypothalamic tumor necrosis factor-α converting enzyme mediates excitatory amino acid-dependent neuron-to-glia signaling in the neuroendocrine brain

Alejandro Lomniczi, Anda Cornea, Maria E. Costa, Sergio R. Ojeda

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    30 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Glial erbB1 receptors play a significant role in the hypothalamic control of female puberty. Activation of these receptors by transforming growth factor α (TGFα) results in production of prostaglandin E2, which then stimulates luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) neurons to secrete LHRH, the neuropeptide controlling sexual development. Glutamatergic neurons set in motion this glia-toneuron signaling pathway by transactivating erbB1 receptors via coactivation of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) and metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). Because the metalloproteinase tumor necrosis factor α converting enzyme (TACE) releases TGFα from its transmembrane precursor before TGFα can bind to erbB1 receptors, we sought to determine whether TACE is required for excitatory amino acids to activate the TGFα-erbB1 signaling module in hypothalamic astrocytes, and thus facilitate the advent of puberty. Coactivation of astrocytic AMPARs and mGluRs caused extracellular Ca2+ influx, a Ca2+/protein kinase C-dependent increase in TACE-like activity, and enhanced release of TGFα. Within the hypothalamus, TACE is most abundantly expressed in astrocytes of the median eminence (ME), and its enzymatic activity increases selectively in this region at the time of the first preovulatory surge of gonadotropins. ME explants respond to stimulation of AMPARs and mGluRs with LHRH release, and this response is prevented by blocking TACE activity. In vivo inhibition of TACE activity targeted to the ME delayed the age at first ovulation, indicating that ME-specific changes in TACE activity are required for the normal timing of puberty. These results suggest that TACE is a component of the neuron-to-glia signaling process used by glutamatergic neurons to control female sexual development.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)51-62
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Neuroscience
    Volume26
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 4 2006

    Keywords

    • Astrocytes
    • Ectodomain shedding
    • Female puberty
    • Hypothalamus
    • Proteolytic cleavage
    • TGFα

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Neuroscience(all)

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