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Biosynthesis of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and GnRH receptor (GnRHR) in hypothalamic–pituitary unit of anoestrous and cyclic ewes

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This study was performed to explain how the molecular processes governing the biosynthesis of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and GnRH receptor (GnRHR) in the hypothalamic–pituitary unit are reflected by luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion in sheep during anoestrous period and during luteal and follicular phases of the oestrous cycle. Using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), we analyzed the levels of GnRH and GnRHR in preoptic area (POA), anterior (AH) and ventromedial hypothalamus (VM), stalk–median eminence (SME), and GnRHR in the anterior pituitary gland (AP). Radioimmunoassay has also been used to define changes in plasma LH concentrations. The study provides evidence that the levels of GnRH in the whole hypothalamus of anoestrous ewes were lower than that in sheep during the follicular phase of the oestrous cycle (POA: p < 0.001, AH: p < 0.001, VM: p < 0.01, SME: p < 0.001) and not always than in luteal phase animals (POA: p < 0.05, SME: p < 0.05). It has also been demonstrated that the GnRHR amount in the hypothalamus–anterior pituitary unit, as well as LH level, in the blood in anoestrous ewes were significantly lower than those detected in animals of both cyclic groups. Our data suggest that decrease in LH secretion during the long photoperiod in sheep may be due to low translational activity of genes encoding both GnRH and GnRHR.
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Keywords: GnRH; GnRHR; LH; R-GnRH; brebis; ewe; hypophyse; hypothalamus; pituitary; saisonnalité; seasonality

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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