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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Early decrease of proopiomelanocortin but not neuropeptide Y mRNA expression in the mediobasal hypothalamus of the ewe, during the estradiol-induced preovulatory LH surge.

In sheep, the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH) has been shown to be the primary central site of estradiol (E2) action that induces both the preovulatory surge and sexual behaviour. However, the nature of the neurotransmitters or neuromodulators synthesized in the MBH during E2 stimulation remains to be clearly defined. After the cloning of the ovine cDNA sequences and using in situ hybridization, hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin (POMC), and preproneuropeptide Y (preproNPY) mRNA expression was studied in ovariectomized ewes that received a sequential treatment of progesterone and E2. As we showed that an exposition to E2 only for 4h well in advance on the LH surge onset is sufficient to induce the preovulatory surge and estrous behaviour, mRNA expression was evaluated in ewes treated with 6x30-mm E2 implants (experimental group) or with empty implants (control group) and slaughtered 4h after the start of the E2 treatment. Our results demonstrate that this short E2 treatment significantly decreased both the mean number of silver grains per POMC-containing cell (35%) and the mean number of POMC-cells (38%) in the ovine infundibular nucleus, whereas the treatment had no effect on preproNPY mRNA expression. These observations suggest that a reduction of POMC gene transcription could participate to the early neural mechanism of E2 feedback.[1]


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