Tonic gonadotrophin secretion throughout the menstrual cycle is regulated by the negative-feedback actions of ovarian oestradiol (E2) and progesterone. Although kisspeptin neurones in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) of the hypothalamus appear to play a major role in mediating these feedback actions of the steroids in nonprimate species, this issue has been less well studied in the monkey. In the present study, we used immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridisation to examine kisspeptin and KISS1 expression, respectively, in the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH) of adult ovariectomised (OVX) rhesus monkeys. We also examined kisspeptin expression in the MBH of ovarian intact females, and the effect of E2, progesterone and E2 + progesterone replacement on KISS1 expression in OVX animals. Kisspeptin or KISS1 expressing neurones and pronounced kisspeptin fibres were readily identified throughout the ARC of ovariectomised monkeys but, on the other hand, in intact animals, kisspeptin cell bodies were small in size and number and only fine fibres were observed. Replacement of OVX monkeys with physiological levels of E2, either alone or with luteal phase levels of progesterone, abolished KISS1 expression in the ARC. Interestingly, progesterone replacement alone for 14 days also resulted in a significant down-regulation of KISS1 expression. These findings support the view that, in primates, as in rodents and sheep, kisspeptin signalling in ARC neurones appears to play an important role in mediating the negative-feedback action of E2 on gonadotrophin secretion, and also indicate the need to study further their regulation by progesterone.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience