2021 journal article

Kisspeptin, Neurokinin B, and Dynorphin Expression during Pubertal Development in Female Sheep


By: E. Aerts*, K. Harlow n, M. Griesgraber*, E. Bowdridge*, S. Hardy*, C. Nestor n, S. Hileman*

author keywords: kisspeptin; neurokinin B; dynorphin; puberty; sheep; LH
Source: Web Of Science
Added: November 15, 2021

The neural mechanisms underlying increases in gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion that drive puberty onset are unknown. Neurons coexpressing kisspeptin, neurokinin B (NKB), and dynorphin, i.e., KNDy neurons, are important as kisspeptin and NKB are stimulatory, and dynorphin inhibitory, to GnRH secretion. Given this, we hypothesized that kisspeptin and NKB expression would increase, but that dynorphin expression would decrease, with puberty. We collected blood and hypothalamic tissue from ovariectomized lambs implanted with estradiol at five, six, seven, eight (puberty), and ten months of age. Mean LH values and LH pulse frequency were the lowest at five to seven months, intermediate at eight months, and highest at ten months. Kisspeptin and NKB immunopositive cell numbers did not change with age. Numbers of cells expressing mRNA for kisspeptin, NKB, or dynorphin were similar at five, eight, and ten months of age. Age did not affect mRNA expression per cell for kisspeptin or NKB, but dynorphin mRNA expression per cell was elevated at ten months versus five months. Thus, neither KNDy protein nor mRNA expression changed in a predictable manner during pubertal development. These data raise the possibility that KNDy neurons, while critical, may await other inputs for the initiation of puberty.