open access

Vol 47, No 5 (2009)
ORIGINAL PAPERS
Published online: 2010-01-14
Submitted: 2011-12-19
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The GnRH receptor and the response of gonadotrope cells to GnRH pulse frequency code. A story of an atypical adaptation of cell function relying on a lack of receptor homologous desensitization.

Raymond Counis, Ghislaine Garrel, Jean-NoĂŤl Laverriere, Violaine Simon, Christian Bleux, Solange Magre, JoĂŤlle Cohen-Tannoudji
DOI: 10.2478/v10042-009-0109-9
·
Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2009;47(5):81-87.

open access

Vol 47, No 5 (2009)
ORIGINAL PAPERS
Published online: 2010-01-14
Submitted: 2011-12-19

Abstract

Brain control of the reproductive system is mediated through hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) which activates specific receptors (GnRHR) present at the surface of the pituitary gonadotropes to trigger secretion of the two gonadotropins LH and FSH. A unique feature of this system is the high dependence on the secretion mode of GnRH, which is basically pulsatile but undergoes considerable fluctuations in pulse frequency pattern in response to endogenous or external factors. How the physiological fluctuations of GnRH secretion that orchestrate normal reproduction are decoded by the gonadotrope cell machinery to ultimately control gonadotropin release and/or subunit gene transcription has been the subject of intensive studies during the past decades. Surprisingly, the mammalian GnRHR is unique among G protein-coupled receptor family as it lacks the carboxy-terminal tail usually involved in classical endocytotic process. Accordingly, it does not desensitize properly and internalizes very poorly. Both this atypical intrinsic property and post-receptor events may thus contribute to decode the GnRH signal. This includes the participation of a network of signaling pathways that differently respond to GnRH together with a growing amount of genes differentially sensitive to pulse frequency. Among these are two pairs of genes, the transcription factors EGR-1 and NAB, and the regulatory factors activin and follistatin, that function as intracellular autoregulatory feedback loops controlling respectively LHbeta and FSHbeta gene expression and hence, LH and FSH synthesis. Pituitary gonadotropes thus represent a unique model of cells functionally adapted to respond to a considerably fluctuating neuroendocrine stimulation, from short individual pulses to sustained GnRH as observed at the proestrus of ovarian cycle. Altogether, the data emphasize the adaptative reciprocal complementarity of hypothalamic GnRH neurones and pituitary gonadotropes to function as an original unit.

Abstract

Brain control of the reproductive system is mediated through hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) which activates specific receptors (GnRHR) present at the surface of the pituitary gonadotropes to trigger secretion of the two gonadotropins LH and FSH. A unique feature of this system is the high dependence on the secretion mode of GnRH, which is basically pulsatile but undergoes considerable fluctuations in pulse frequency pattern in response to endogenous or external factors. How the physiological fluctuations of GnRH secretion that orchestrate normal reproduction are decoded by the gonadotrope cell machinery to ultimately control gonadotropin release and/or subunit gene transcription has been the subject of intensive studies during the past decades. Surprisingly, the mammalian GnRHR is unique among G protein-coupled receptor family as it lacks the carboxy-terminal tail usually involved in classical endocytotic process. Accordingly, it does not desensitize properly and internalizes very poorly. Both this atypical intrinsic property and post-receptor events may thus contribute to decode the GnRH signal. This includes the participation of a network of signaling pathways that differently respond to GnRH together with a growing amount of genes differentially sensitive to pulse frequency. Among these are two pairs of genes, the transcription factors EGR-1 and NAB, and the regulatory factors activin and follistatin, that function as intracellular autoregulatory feedback loops controlling respectively LHbeta and FSHbeta gene expression and hence, LH and FSH synthesis. Pituitary gonadotropes thus represent a unique model of cells functionally adapted to respond to a considerably fluctuating neuroendocrine stimulation, from short individual pulses to sustained GnRH as observed at the proestrus of ovarian cycle. Altogether, the data emphasize the adaptative reciprocal complementarity of hypothalamic GnRH neurones and pituitary gonadotropes to function as an original unit.
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About this article
Title

The GnRH receptor and the response of gonadotrope cells to GnRH pulse frequency code. A story of an atypical adaptation of cell function relying on a lack of receptor homologous desensitization.

Journal

Folia Histochemica et Cytobiologica

Issue

Vol 47, No 5 (2009)

Pages

81-87

Published online

2010-01-14

DOI

10.2478/v10042-009-0109-9

Bibliographic record

Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2009;47(5):81-87.

Authors

Raymond Counis
Ghislaine Garrel
Jean-NoĂŤl Laverriere
Violaine Simon
Christian Bleux
Solange Magre
JoĂŤlle Cohen-Tannoudji

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