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Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2002 Dec;22(5-6):589-609.

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH): from fish to mammalian brains.

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Laboratorio de Ictiofisiología, Instituto Tecnológico, Universidad Nacional de General San Martín, Chascomús, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


This work deals with a family of neuropeptides, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), that play a key role in the development and maintenance of reproductive function in vertebrates. 2. Until now, a total of 16 GnRH structural variants have been isolated and characterized from vertebrate and protochordate nervous tissue. All vertebrate species already investigated have at least two GnRH forms coexisting in the central nervous system. However, it is now well accepted that three forms of GnRH in early and late evolved bony fishes are present. 3. In these cases, cGnRH-II is expressed by midbrain neurons, a species-specific GnRH is present mainly in the preoptic area and the hypothalamus, and sGnRH is localized in the terminal nerve ganglion (TNG). In this context it is possible to think that three GnRH forms and three GnRH receptor (GnRH-R) subtypes are expressed in the central nervous system of a given species. 4. Then it is possible to propose three different GnRH lineages expressed by distinct brain areas in vertebrates: (1) the conserved cGnRH-II or mesencephalic lineage; or (2) the hypothalamic or "releasing" lineage whose primary structure has diverged by point mutations (mGnRH and its orthologous forms: hrGnRH, wfGnRH, cfGnRH, sbGnRH, and pjGnRH); and (3) the telencephalic sGnRH form. Also different GnRH nomenclatures are discussed.

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