Kisspeptin increases GnRH mRNA expression and secretion in GnRH secreting neuronal cell lines

Horacio J. Novaira, Yewade Ng, Andrew Wolfe, Sally Radovick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Kisspeptins, and their G-protein coupled receptor 54 (GPR54), are key components in the regulation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion in humans and other mammals. Several studies demonstrate that the central or systemic administration of kisspeptin increases GnRH and gonadotropin secretion in both prepubertal and adult animals; however, the cellular targets and intracellular mechanisms of action in the central reproductive axis are unclear. In this study, we documented the presence of GPR54 in two GnRH secreting neuronal cell lines (GT1-7 and GN11). Kisspeptin treatment increases GnRH secretion and GnRH mRNA levels in a dose and time dependent manner. 10-9 M kisspeptin maximally stimulated GnRH secretion by 2-fold and GnRH mRNA levels up to 4-fold after 4 h of treatment in both cell lines. Negative regulation by 17β-estradiol of GnRH secretion and GnRH mRNA was antagonized by kisspeptin. Co-treatment with kisspeptin and 17β-estradiol increased GnRH secretion by 2-fold and GnRH mRNA by 4-fold over estradiol alone in both cell lines. Intracellular signaling pathway studies showed that an ERK1/2 MAPK inhibitor (PD98059) and a PI3K inhibitor, LY29402, attenuated the effects of kisspeptin on GnRH mRNA modulation. Furthermore, Western blot analysis showed that phosphorylation of both MAPK and Akt substrates increased with kisspeptin treatment. This work demonstrates that the kisspeptin-GPR54 system plays a significant role stimulating GnRH secretion and positive regulation of GnRH mRNA levels in GnRH neurons in culture, and also, demonstrates the activation of MAPK and Akt signaling pathways by kisspeptin in GT1-7 and GN11 cell lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-134
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Nov 13 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Estradiol
  • GN11 cells
  • GPR54
  • GT1-7 cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


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