The Effect of NK3-Saporin Injection within the Arcuate Nucleus on Puberty, the LH Surge, and the Response to Senktide in Female Sheep
Aerts, E. G., Nestor, C. C., & Goodman, R. L. (2023, October 30).
The timing of puberty onset is reliant on increased gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). This elicits a corresponding increase in luteinizing hormone (LH) due to a lessening of sensitivity to the inhibitory actions of estradiol (E2). The mechanisms underlying the increase in GnRH release likely involve a subset of neurons within the arcuate (ARC) nucleus of the hypothalamus that contain kisspeptin, neurokinin B (NKB), and dynorphin (KNDy neurons). We aimed to determine if KNDy neurons in female sheep are critical for: timely puberty onset; the LH surge; and the response to an intravenous injection of the neurokinin-3 receptor (NK3R) agonist, senktide. Prepubertal ewes received injections aimed at the ARC containing blank-saporin (control, n = 5) or NK3-saporin (NK3-SAP, n = 6) to ablate neurons expressing NK3R. Blood samples taken 3/week for 65 days following surgery were assessed for progesterone to determine onset of puberty. Control ewes exhibited onset of puberty at 33.2 ± 3.9 days post sampling initiation, whereas 5/6 NK3-SAP treated ewes didn't display an increase in progesterone. After an artificial LH surge protocol, surge amplitude was lower in NK3-SAP ewes. Finally, ewes were treated with senktide to determine if an LH response was elicited. LH pulses were evident in both groups in the absence of injections, but ewes response to senktide vs saline was similar between groups. These results show that KNDy cells are necessary for timely puberty onset and for full expresson of the LH surge. The occurrence of LH pulses in NK3-SAP treated ewes may indicate a recovery from an apulsatile state.