Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Med. 2002 Dec;8(12):1421-6. Epub 2002 Nov 25.

The neuropeptides GnRH-II and GnRH-I are produced by human T cells and trigger laminin receptor gene expression, adhesion, chemotaxis and homing to specific organs.

Author information

Department of Neurobiology, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


Can T cells be directly activated to de novo gene expression by gonadotropin-releasing hormone-II (GnRH-II), a unique 10-amino-acid neuropeptide conserved through 500 million years of evolution? GnRH-II, which has been identified in mammals, shares 70% homology with the mammalian hypothalamic neurohormone GnRH (GnRH-I), the primary regulator of reproduction, but is encoded by a different gene. Although both neuropeptides are produced mainly in brain, their localization and promoter regulation differ, suggestive of distinct functions. Indeed, GnRH-II barely affects reproduction and its role in mammalian physiology is unknown. We find here that human normal and leukemic T cells produce GnRH-II and GnRH-I. Further, exposure of normal or cancerous human or mouse T cells to GnRH-II or GnRH-I triggered de novo gene transcription and cell-surface expression of a 67-kD non-integrin laminin receptor that is involved in cellular adhesion and migration and in tumor invasion and metastasis. GnRH-II or GnRH-I also induced adhesion to laminin and chemotaxis toward SDF-1alpha, and augmented entry in vivo of metastatic T-lymphoma into the spleen and bone marrow. Homing of normal T cells into specific organs was reduced in mice lacking GnRH-I. A specific GnRH-I-receptor antagonist blocked GnRH-I- but not GnRH-II-induced effects, which is suggestive of signaling through distinct receptors. We suggest that GnRH-II and GnRH-I, secreted from nerves or autocrine or paracrine sources, interact directly with T cells and trigger gene transcription, adhesion, chemotaxis and homing to specific organs, which may be of clinical relevance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center