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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Neuroendocrinologie Moleculaire de la Reproduction

Crosstalks between kisspeptin neurons and somatostatin neurons are not photoperiod dependent in the ewe hypothalamus.

Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2017 Dec 1;254:68-74. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2017.09.017. Epub 2017 Sep 18.

© general-and-comparative-endocrinology
Dufourny L, Lomet D.


Seasonal reproduction is under the control of gonadal steroid feedback, itself synchronized by day-length or photoperiod. As steroid action on GnRH neurons is mostly indirect and therefore exerted through interneurons, we looked for neuroanatomical interactions between kisspeptin (KP) neurons and somatostatin (SOM) neurons, two populations targeted by sex steroids, in three diencephalic areas involved in the central control of ovulation and/or sexual behavior: the arcuate nucleus (ARC), the preoptic area (POA) and the ventrolateral part of the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMHvl). KP is the most potent secretagogue of GnRH secretion while SOM has been shown to centrally inhibit LH pulsatile release. Notably, hypothalamic contents of these two neuropeptides vary with photoperiod in specific seasonal species. Our hypothesis is that SOM inhibits KP neuron activity and therefore indirectly modulate GnRH release and that this effect may be seasonally regulated. We used sections from ovariectomized estradiol-replaced ewes killed after photoperiodic treatment mimicking breeding or anestrus season. We performed triple immunofluorescent labeling to simultaneously detect KP, SOM and synapsin, a marker for synaptic vesicles. Sections from the POA and from the mediobasal hypothalamus were examined using a confocal microscope. Randomly selected KP or SOM neurons were observed in the POA and ARC. SOM neurons were also observed in the VMHvl. In both the ARC and POA, nearly all KP neurons presented numerous SOM contacts. SOM neurons presented KP terminals more frequently in the ARC than in the POA and VMHvl. Quantitative analysis failed to demonstrate major seasonal variations of KP and SOM interactions. Our data suggest a possible inhibitory action of SOM on all KP neurons in both photoperiodic statuses. On the other hand, the physiological significance of KP modulation of SOM neuron activity and vice versa remain to be determined.

Link to PubMed