2021 journal article
Evidence that pubertal status impacts kisspeptin/neurokinin B/dynorphin neurons in the gilt(dagger)
BIOLOGY OF REPRODUCTION, 105(6), 1533–1544.
Puberty onset is a complex physiological process, which enables the capacity for reproduction through increased gonadotropin-releasing hormone and subsequently luteinizing hormone secretion. While cells that coexpress kisspeptin, neurokinin B (NKB), and dynorphin in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus are believed to govern the timing of puberty, the degree to which kisspeptin/NKB/dynorphin (KNDy) neurons exist and are regulated by pubertal status remains to be determined in the gilt. Hypothalamic tissue from prepubertal and postpubertal, early follicular phase gilts was used to determine the expression of kisspeptin, NKB, and dynorphin within the arcuate nucleus. Fluorescent in situ hybridization revealed that the majority (>74%) of arcuate nucleus neurons that express mRNA for kisspeptin coexpressed mRNA for NKB and dynorphin. There were fewer arcuate nucleus cells that expressed mRNA for dynorphin in postpubertal gilts compared to prepubertal gilts (P < 0.05), but the number of arcuate nucleus cells expressing mRNA for kisspeptin or NKB was not different between groups. Within KNDy neurons, mRNA abundance for kisspeptin, NKB, and dynorphin of postpubertal gilts was the same as, less than, and greater than, respectively, prepubertal gilts. Immunostaining for kisspeptin did not differ between prepubertal and postpubertal gilts, but there were fewer NKB immunoreactive fibers in postpubertal gilts compared to prepubertal gilts (P < 0.05). Together, these data reveal novel information about KNDy neurons in gilts and support the idea that NKB and dynorphin play a role in puberty onset in the female pig.