Journal of Endocrinology

 Neurokinin B regulates reproduction via inhibition of kisspeptin in a teleost, the striped bass

Kisspeptin and neurokinin B (NKB) are neuropeptides co-expressed in the mammalian hypothalamus and coordinately control GnRH signaling. We have found that Nkb and kisspeptin neurons are distinct in the teleost, striped bass (STB) and capitalized on this phenomenon to study the mode of action of Nkb and its related neuropeptide-F (Nkf), both of which are encoded by the tac3 gene. In vitro brain slices and in vivo administration studies revealed that Nkb/f consistently downregulated kiss2, whereas antagonist (AntD) administration restored this effect. Overall, a minor effect was noted on gnrh1 expression, whereas Gnrh1 content in the pituitaries was reduced after Nkb/f treatment and increased with AntD. Concomitantly, immunostaining demonstrated that hypothalamic Nkb neurons border and densely innervate the largest kiss2 neuronal population in the hypothalamus, which also coexpresses Nkb receptor. No expression of Nkb receptor or Nkb neuronal projections was detected near/in Gnrh1 soma in the preoptic area. At the level of the pituitary, however, the picture was more complex: both Nkb/f and AntD upregulated lhb and fshb expression and Lh secretion in vivo. Together with the stimulatory effect of Nkb/f on Lh/Fsh secretion from pituitary cells, in vitro, this may indicate an additional independent action of Nkb/f within the pituitary, in which the hypothalamic pathway is more dominant. The current study demonstrates that Nkb/f utilizes multiple pathways to regulate reproduction in the STB and that in the brain, Nkb mainly acts as a negative modulator of kiss2 to regulate the release of Gnrh1.