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Endocrinology. 1998 Oct;139(10):4037-43.

Muscarinic regulation of intracellular signaling and neurosecretion in gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons.

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Endocrinology and Reproduction Research Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Agonist activation of cholinergic receptors expressed in perifused hypothalamic and immortalized GnRH-producing (GT1-7) cells induced prominent peaks in GnRH release, each followed by a rapid decrease, a transient plateau, and a decline to below basal levels. The complex profile of GnRH release suggested that acetylcholine (ACh) acts through different cholinergic receptor subtypes to exert stimulatory and inhibitory effects on GnRH release. Whereas activation of nicotinic receptors caused a transient increase in GnRH release, activation of muscarinic receptors inhibited basal GnRH release. Nanomolar concentrations of ACh caused dose-dependent inhibition of cAMP production that was prevented by pertussis toxin (PTX), consistent with the activation of a plasma-membrane Gi protein. Micromolar concentrations of ACh also caused an increase in phosphoinositide hydrolysis that was inhibited by the M1 receptor antagonist, pirenzepine. In ACh-treated cells, immunoblot analysis revealed that membrane-associated G(alpha q/11) immunoreactivity was decreased after 5 min but was restored at later times. In contrast, immunoreactive G(alpha i3) was decreased for up to 120 min after ACh treatment. The agonist-induced changes in G protein alpha-subunits liberated during activation of muscarinic receptors were correlated with regulation of their respective transduction pathways. These results indicate that ACh modulates GnRH release from hypothalamic neurons through both M1 and M2 muscarinic receptors. These receptor subtypes are coupled to Gq and Gi proteins that respectively influence the activities of PLC and adenylyl cyclase/ion channels, with consequent effects on neurosecretion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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