Diurnal regulation of hypothalamic kisspeptin is disrupted during mouse pregnancy

C.C. Yap, Michaela D. Wharfe, Peter J. Mark, Brendan J. Waddell, Jeremy T. Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2016 Society for Endocrinology.Kisspeptin, the neuropeptide product of the Kiss1 gene, is critical in driving the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. Kisspeptin neurons in the anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPV) and arcuate nucleus (Arc) of the hypothalamus mediate differential effects, with the Arc regulating negative feedback of sex steroids and the AVPV regulating positive feedback, vital for the preovulatory surge and gated under circadian control. We aimed to characterize hypothalamic Kiss1 and Kiss1r mRNA expression in nonpregnant and pregnant mice, and investigate potential circadian regulation. Anterior and posterior hypothalami were collected from C57BL/6J mice at diestrus, proestrus, and days 6, 10, 14, and 18 of pregnancy, at six time points across 24 h, for real-time PCR analysis of gene expression. Analysis confirmed that Kiss1 mRNA expression in the AVPV increased at ZT13 during proestrus, with a luteinizing hormone surge observed thereafter. No diurnal regulation was seen at diestrus or at any stage of pregnancy. Anterior hypothalamic Avp mRNA expression exhibited no diurnal variation, but Avpr1a peaked at 12:00 h during proestrus, possibly reflecting the circadian input from the suprachiasmatic nucleus to AVPV Kiss1 neurons. Rfrp (Npvf) expression in the posterior hypothalamus did not demonstrate diurnal variation at any stage. Clock genes Bmal1 and Rev-erba were strongly diurnal, but there was little change between diestrus/ proestrus and pregnancy. Our data indicate the absence of the circadian input to Kiss1 in pregnancy, despite high gestational estradiol levels and normal clock gene expression, and may suggest a disruption of a kisspeptin-specific diurnal rhythm that operates in the nonpregnant state.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)307-318
    Number of pages12
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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