|Title||Novel ontogenetic patterns of sexual differentiation in arcuate nucleus GHRH neurons revealed in GHRH-enhanced green fluorescent protein transgenic mice|
|Authors||McArthur, S., Robinson, I.C. and Gillies, G.E.|
GH secretion and growth rates are developmentally regulated and sexually dimorphic, but the neuroregulatory mechanisms between birth and puberty are unclear. Using the GHRH-enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) transgenic mouse, in which eGFP provides a strong surrogate signal for identifying GHRH neurons, we showed that numbers in the male arcuate nucleus were double those seen in females at x postnatal day (P)1 and P10, during which time numbers increased 2- to 3-fold. Thereafter (P20, P30, P60, P365) there was a significant trend for numbers to decrease in males and increase in females, such that sex differences were, surprisingly, absent in young and late adulthood. Conversely, we identified the emergence of male-dominant sex differences in the number of processes extended per GHRH perikarya across puberty. Intriguingly, prepubertal gonadectomy (P28), unlike adult gonadectomy, caused a dramatic 40% loss of GHRH cells in both sexes in adulthood and a significant (30%) increase in processes emanating from cell bodies only in females. These findings establish a novel ontogenetic profile for GHRH neurons and suggest previously undiscovered roles for peripubertal gonadal factors in establishing population size in both sexes. They also provide the first demonstration of emergent sex-specific GHRH architecture, which may signal the onset of sex-dependent regulation of activity reported for adult GHRH-eGFP neurons, and its differential regulation by gonadal factors in males and females. This information adds to our knowledge of processes that underpin the emergence of sex-specific GH secretory dynamics and hence biological activity of this pleiotropic hormone.
|Journal citation||152 (2), pp. 607-617|
|Publisher||The Endocrine Society|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||doi:10.1210/en.2010-0798|