Defining subpopulations of arcuate nucleus GABA neurons in male, female, and prenatally androgenized female mice

Marshall, C. J. , Desroziers, E., McLennan, T. and Campbell, R. E. (2017) Defining subpopulations of arcuate nucleus GABA neurons in male, female, and prenatally androgenized female mice. Neuroendocrinology, 105(2), pp. 157-169. (doi: 10.1159/000452105) (PMID:27710963)

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Background/Aims: Arcuate nucleus (ARN) γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons are implicated in many critical homeostatic mechanisms, from food intake to fertility. To determine the functional relevance of ARN GABA neurons, it is essential to define the neurotransmitters co-expressed with and potentially co-released from ARN GABA neurons. Methods: The present study investigated the expression of markers of specific signaling molecules by ARN GABA neurons in brain sections from male, female, and, in some cases, prenatally androgen-treated (PNA) female, vesicular GABA transporter (VGaT)-ires-Cre/tdTomato reporter mice. Immunofluorescence for kisspeptin, β-endorphin, neuropeptide Y (NPY), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) was detected by confocal microscopy, and co-localization with tdTomato VGaT reporter expression throughout the ARN was quantified. Results: GABA neurons rarely co-localized with kisspeptin (<2%) or β-endorphin (<1%), and only a small proportion of kisspeptin (∼10%) or β-endorphin (∼3%) neurons co-localized with VGaT in male and female mice. In contrast, one-third of ARN GABA neurons co-localized with NPY, and nearly all NPY neurons (>95%) co-localized with VGaT across groups. Both TH and nNOS labeling was co-localized with ∼10% of ARN GABA neurons. The proportion of TH neurons co-localized with VGaT was significantly greater in males than either control or PNA females, and the proportion of nNOS neurons co-localizing VGaT was higher in control and PNA females compared with males. Conclusion: These data highlight NPY as a significant subpopulation of ARN GABA neurons, demonstrate no significant impact of PNA on signal co-expression, and, for the first time, show sexually dimorphic co-expression patterns of TH and nNOS with ARN GABA neurons.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Marshall, Dr Christopher
Authors: Marshall, C. J., Desroziers, E., McLennan, T., and Campbell, R. E.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Neuroendocrinology
ISSN (Online):1423-0194
Published Online:07 October 2016

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