Developmental changes in hypothalamic Kiss1 expression during activation of the pulsatile release of luteinising hormone in maturing ewe lambs. Academic Article uri icon


  • Onset of puberty is characterised by a marked increase in the frequency of release of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and luteinising hormone (LH). The Kiss1 gene plays a critical role in pubertal development, and its product, kisspeptin, stimulates GnRH and LH release. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that Kiss1 gene expression in the preoptic area (POA) and hypothalamus increases during maturation of the reproductive neuroendocrine axis in association with increased LH pulsatility. Ovariectomised, oestradiol-replaced lambs were euthanised at 25, 30 and 35 weeks of age. Blood samples were collected before euthanasia to characterise the pattern of LH release. Kiss1 mRNA was detected in coronal sections of the POA and hypothalamus and Kiss1-expressing cells were identified on the basis of silver grain density. The mean number of Kiss1-expressing cells in the POA/periventricular (PeV) areas increased from 25 to 30 weeks of age. No further increase at 35 weeks of age was observed, and the changes in Kiss1 expression in the POA/PeV were independent of changes in LH pulse frequency. The mean number of Kiss1-expressing cells in the arcuate (ARC) nucleus did not differ among age groups, although it was greater in the middle ARC of lambs exhibiting increased frequency of LH release. The density of silver grains per cell did not differ among groups in any of the areas studied. The results obtained indicate that the Kiss1 gene is activated in the POA/PeV and ARC of ewe lambs during juvenile development, and that kisspeptin neurones in the middle ARC, in particular, are involved in the acceleration of pulsatile LH release during maturation of the reproductive neuroendocrine axis in ewe lambs.

published proceedings

  • J Neuroendocrinol

author list (cited authors)

  • Redmond, J. S., Baez-Sandoval, G. M., Spell, K. M., Spencer, T. E., Lents, C. A., Williams, G. L., & Amstalden, M.

citation count

  • 43

complete list of authors

  • Redmond, JS||Baez-Sandoval, GM||Spell, KM||Spencer, TE||Lents, CA||Williams, GL||Amstalden, M

publication date

  • September 2011