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

Bi-directional associations between galanin and luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone neuronal systems in the human diencephalon.

Evidence suggests that galanin plays an important role in the regulation of reproduction in the rat. Galanin is colocalized with luteinizing hormone (LH)-releasing hormone (LHRH) in a subset of LHRH neurons in female rats and galanin-immunoreactive (galanin-IR) nerve terminals innervate LHRH neurons. Recent studies indicate that galanin may control gonadal functions in rats at two different levels: (i) via direct modulation of pituitary LH secretion and/or (ii) indirectly via the regulation of the hypothalamic LHRH release. However, the morphological substrate of any similar modulation is not known in human. In the present series of experiments we first mapped the galanin-IR and LHRH-IR neural elements in human brain, utilizing single label immunohistochemistry. Then, following the superimposition of the maps of these systems, the overlapping sites were identified with double labeling immunocytochemistry and examined in order to verify the putative juxtapositions between galanin-IR and LHRH-IR structures. LHRH and galanin immunoreactivity were detected mainly in the medial basal hypothalamus, in the medial preoptic area and along the diagonal band of Broca. Careful examination of the IR elements in the overlapping areas revealed close, bi-directional contacts between galanin-IR and LHRH-IR structures, which have been verified in semithin plastic sections. These galanin-LHRH and LHRH-galanin juxtapositions were most numerous in the medial preoptic area and in the infundibulum/median eminence of the human diencephalon. In conclusion, the present study is the first to reveal bi-directional juxtapositions between galanin- and LHRH-IR neural elements in the human diencephalon. These galanin-LHRH and LHRH-galanin contacts may be functional synapses, and they may be the morphological substrate of the galanin-controlled gonadal functions in humans.[1]

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