ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-160818-1
Morphological and Physiological Interactions between GnRH3 and Hypocretin/Orexin Neuronal Systems in Zebrafish (Danio rerio)
Zhao, Y., Singh, C., Prober, D., Wayne, N.L.
Date: 2016
Source: Endocrinology   157(10): 4012-4020 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Prober, David, Wayne, Nancy L., Zhao, Yali
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Female
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone/metabolism*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Orexins/metabolism*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Preoptic Area/metabolism*
  • Pyrrolidonecarboxylic Acid/analogs & derivatives*
  • Pyrrolidonecarboxylic Acid/metabolism
  • Reproduction*
  • Zebrafish
PubMed: 27533887 Full text @ Endocrinology
GnRH neurons integrate internal and external cues to control sexual maturation and fertility. Homeostasis of energy balance and food intake correlates strongly with the status of reproduction. Neuropeptides secreted by the hypothalamus involved in modulating energy balance and feeding may play additional roles in the regulation of reproduction. Hypocretin (Hcrt) (also known as orexin) is one such peptide, primarily controlling sleep/wakefulness, food intake, and reward processing. There is a growing body of evidence indicating that Hcrt/orexin (Hcrt) modulates reproduction through interacting with the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis in mammals. To explore potential morphological and functional interactions between the GnRH and Hcrt neuronal systems, we employed a variety of experimental approaches including confocal imaging, immunohistochemistry, and electrophysiology in transgenic zebrafish, in which fluorescent proteins are genetically expressed in GnRH3 and Hcrt neurons. Our imaging data revealed close apposition and direct connection between GnRH3 and Hcrt neuronal systems in the hypothalamus during larval development through adulthood. Furthermore, the Hcrt receptor (HcrtR) is expressed in GnRH3 neurons. Electrophysiological data revealed a reversible inhibitory effect of Hcrt on GnRH3 neuron electrical activity, which was blocked by the HcrtR antagonist almorexant. In addition, Hcrt had no effect on the electrical activity of GnRH3 neurons in the HcrtR null mutant zebrafish (HcrtR-/-). Our findings demonstrate a close anatomical and functional relationship between Hcrt and GnRH neuronal systems in zebrafish. It is the first demonstration of a link between neuronal circuits controlling sleeping/arousal/feeding and reproduction in zebrafish, an important animal model for investigating the molecular genetics of development.