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Endocrinology. 2012 Jul;153(7):3331-6. doi: 10.1210/en.2012-1221. Epub 2012 May 14.

Tonic control of kisspeptin release in prepubertal monkeys: implications to the mechanism of puberty onset.

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Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, University of Wisconsin, 1223 Capitol Court, Madison, Wisconsin 53715-1299, USA.


Previously we have shown that a reduction in γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) inhibition is critical for the mechanism initiating puberty onset because chronic infusion of the GABA(A) receptor antagonist, bicuculline, significantly increased GnRH release and accelerated the timing of menarche and first ovulation in female rhesus monkeys. Because previous studies in our laboratory indicate that in prepubertal female monkeys, kisspeptin release in the medial basal hypothalamus is low, whereas kisspeptin-10 can stimulate GnRH release, we hypothesized that a low level of kisspeptin release prior to puberty onset is due to tonic GABA inhibition. To test this hypothesis we examined the effects of bicuculline infusion on kisspeptin release using a microdialysis method. We found that bicuculline at 1 μM dramatically stimulates kisspeptin release in the medial basal hypothalamus of prepubertal monkeys but had little effect on kisspeptin release in midpubertal monkeys. We further examined whether bicuculline-induced GnRH release is blocked by the presence of the kisspeptin antagonist, peptide 234. We found that inhibition of kisspeptin signaling blocked the bicuculline-induced stimulation of GnRH release, suggesting that kisspeptin neurons may relay inhibitory GABA signals to GnRH neurons. This implies that a reduction in tonic GABA inhibition of GnRH release is, at least in part, mediated through kisspeptin neurons.

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