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Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2010 Feb 1;165(3):438-55. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2009.04.017. Epub 2009 Apr 23.

Neuroendocrinology of reproduction in teleost fish.

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  • 1Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, Baltimore, MD, USA.


This review aims at synthesizing the most relevant information regarding the neuroendocrine circuits controlling reproduction, mainly gonadotropin release, in teleost fish. In teleosts, the pituitary receives a more or less direct innervation by neurons sending projections to the vicinity of the pituitary gonadotrophs. Among the neurotransmitters and neuropeptides released by these nerve endings are gonadotrophin-releasing hormones (GnRH) and dopamine, acting as stimulatory and inhibitory factors (in many but not all fish) on the liberation of LH and to a lesser extent that of FSH. The activity of the corresponding neurons depends on a complex interplay between external and internal factors that will ultimately influence the triggering of puberty and sexual maturation. Among these factors are sex steroids and other peripheral hormones and growth factors, but little is known regarding their targets. However, very recently a new actor has entered the field of reproductive physiology. KiSS1, first known as a tumor suppressor called metastin, and its receptor GPR54, are now central to the regulation of GnRH, and consequently LH and FSH secretion in mammals. The KiSS system is notably viewed as instrumental in integrating both environmental cues and metabolic signals and passing this information onto the reproductive axis. In fish, there are two KiSS genes, KiSS1 and KiSS2, expressed in neurons of the preoptic area and mediobasal hypothalamus. Pionneer studies indicate that KiSS and GPR54 expression seem to be activated at puberty. Although precise information as to the physiological effects of KiSS1 in fish, notably on GnRH neurons and gonadotropin release, is still limited, KiSS neurons may emerge as the "gatekeeper" of puberty and reproduction in fish as in mammals.

Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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