Kisspeptin Regulates Gonadotroph and Somatotroph Function in Nonhuman Primate Pituitary via Common and Distinct Signaling Mechanisms

Kisspeptins (Kps) have emerged as key players in the control of reproductive-axis function, in which they operate as primary regulators of hypothalamicGnRHrelease. In addition, recent data indicate that Kps can also directly act on the pituitary to stimulate LH and GH release in primary pituitary cell culture prepared from rats, cows, and sheep. We present herein evidence that Kps (specifically Kp-10) can also stimulate LH andGHrelease in primary pituitary cell cultures prepared from female baboons (Papio anubis), a species that more closely models human physiology. The stimulatory effect of Kp-10 on LH and GH release was dose and time dependent and enhanced the hormonal responses to their major regulators (GnRH for LH; GHRH/ghrelin for GH) without affecting the release of other pituitary hormones (TSH, FSH, ACTH, prolactin). Use of pharmacological intracellular signaling blockers indicated Kp-10 signals through phospholipase C, protein kinase C, MAPK, and intracellular Ca2 mobilization, but not adenylyl cyclase, protein kinase A, extracellular Ca2 influx (through L-type channels), or nitric oxide synthase, to stimulate both LH and GH release. Interestingly, blockade of mammalian target of rapamycin or phosphoinositol 3-kinase activity fully abolished the stimulatory effect of Kp-10 on LH but not GH release. Of note, estradiol enhanced the relative LH response to Kp-10, alone or in combination with GnRH. In sum, our data are the first to provide evidence that, in a primate model, there is a functional Kp-signaling system within the pituitary, which is dynamically regulated and may contribute to the direct control of gonadotropic and somatotropic axes. (Endocrinology 152: 957–966, 2011)

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