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Nature. 1989 Mar 9;338(6211):161-4.

Origin of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone neurons.

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Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021.


Neurons expressing luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH), found in the septal-preoptic nuclei and hypothalamus, control the release of gonadotropic hormones from the anterior pituitary gland and facilitate reproductive behaviour. LHRH-expressing neurons are also found in the nervus terminalis, a cranial nerve that is a part of the accessory olfactory system and which projects directly from the nose to the septal-preoptic nuclei in the brain. During development, LHRH-immunoreactivity is detected in the peripheral parts of the nervus terminalis before it is found in the brain. Using a combination of LHRH immunocytochemistry and tritiated thymidine autoradiography in fetal mice, we show that LHRH neurons originate in the medial olfactory placode of the developing nose, migrate across the nasal septum and enter the forebrain with the nervus terminalis, arching into the septal-preoptic area and hypothalamus. Clinically, this migratory route for LHRH-expressing neurons could explain the deficiency of gonadotropins seen in 'Kallmann's syndrome' (hypogonadotropic hypogonadism with anosmia).

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