Augmentation of Nr4a3 and Suppression of Fshb Expression in the Pituitary Gland of Female Annexin A5 Null Mouse.
ABSTRACT: GnRH enhances the expression of annexin A5 (ANXA5) in pituitary gonadotropes, and ANXA5 enhances gonadotropin secretion. However, the impact of ANXA5 regulation on the expression of pituitary hormone genes remains unclear. Here, using quantitative PCR, we demonstrated that ANXA5 deficiency in female mice reduced the expression of Fshb and Gh in their pituitary glands. Transcriptome analysis confirmed a specific increase in Nr4a3 mRNA expression in addition to lower levels of Fshb expression in ANXA5-deficient female pituitary glands. This gene was then found to be a GnRH-inducible immediate early gene, and its increased expression caused protein to accumulate in the nucleus after administration of a GnRH agonist in L?T2 cells, which are an in vitro pituitary gonadotrope model. The increase in ANXA5 protein levels in L?T2 cells clearly suppressed Nr4a3 expression. siRNA-mediated inhibition of Nr4a3 expression increased Fshb expression. The results revealed that GnRH stimulates Nr4a3 and Anxa5 sequentially. NR4A3 suppression of Fshb may be necessary for later massive secretion of FSH by GnRH in gonadotropes, and Nr4a3 would be negatively regulated by ANXA5 to increase FSH secretion.
Project description:Forkhead box L2 (FoxL2) is required for ovarian development and differentiation. FoxL2 is also expressed in the pituitary where it has been implicated in the development and regulation of gonadotropes, which secrete LH and FSH, the endocrine signals that regulate folliculogenesis in the ovary and spermatogenesis in the testis. Here, we show that FoxL2 is not required for the specification of gonadotropes; the pituitaries of Foxl2 mutant mice contain normal numbers of gonadotropes that express glycoprotein ? subunit and LH?. Whereas the specification of gonadotropes and all other hormonal cell types is normal in the pituitaries of Foxl2 mutant animals, FSH? levels are severely impaired in both male and female animals, suggesting that FoxL2 is required for normal Fshb expression. The size of the pituitary is reduced in proportion to the smaller body size of Foxl2 mutants, with a concomitant increase in the pituitary cellular density. In primary pituitary cultures, activin induces FSH secretion and Fshb mRNA expression in cells from wild-type mice. In cells from Foxl2 mutant mice, however, FSH secretion is not detected, and activin is unable to drive Fshb expression, suggesting that the mechanism of activin-dependent activation of Fshb transcription is impaired. However, a small number of gonadotropes in the ventromedial region of the pituitaries from Foxl2 mutant mice maintain FSH? expression, suggesting that a FoxL2- and activin-independent mechanism can drive Fshb transcription. These data indicate that, in addition to its role in the ovary, FoxL2 function in the pituitary is required for normal expression of FSH.
Project description:Reproductive function is controlled by the pulsatile release of hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which regulates the expression of the gonadotropins luteinizing hormone and FSH in pituitary gonadotropes. Paradoxically, Fshb gene expression is maximally induced at lower frequency GnRH pulses, which provide a very low average concentration of GnRH stimulation. We studied the role of secreted factors in modulating gonadotropin gene expression. Inhibition of secretion specifically disrupted gonadotropin subunit gene regulation but left early gene induction intact. We characterized the gonadotrope secretoproteome and global mRNA expression at baseline and after Gαs knockdown, which has been found to increase Fshb gene expression (1). We identified 1077 secreted proteins or peptides, 19 of which showed mRNA regulation by GnRH or/and Gαs knockdown. Among several novel secreted factors implicated in Fshb gene regulation, we focused on the neurosecretory protein VGF. Vgf mRNA, whose gene has been implicated in fertility (2), exhibited high induction by GnRH and depended on Gαs In contrast with Fshb induction, Vgf induction occurred preferentially at high GnRH pulse frequency. We hypothesized that a VGF-derived peptide might regulate Fshb gene induction. siRNA knockdown or extracellular immunoneutralization of VGF augmented Fshb mRNA induction by GnRH. GnRH stimulated the secretion of the VGF-derived peptide NERP1. NERP1 caused a concentration-dependent decrease in Fshb gene induction. These findings implicate a VGF-derived peptide in selective regulation of the Fshb gene. Our results support the concept that signaling specificity from the cell membrane GnRH receptor to the nuclear Fshb gene involves integration of intracellular signaling and exosignaling regulatory motifs.
Project description:High-fat diet (HFD) is associated with the regulation of reproductive functions. This study aimed to investigate the effects of short-term HFD on the mRNA expression levels of follicle-stimulating hormone ? subunit (FSH?), luteinizing hormone ? subunit (LH?), gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor, and long-chain fatty acid receptor, GPR120, in the matured male mouse pituitary gland. Adult male mice were fed either control chow or HFD for 1, 2, 5, 10, 30 and 150 days. Fshb and Gpr120 mRNA expression levels in the pituitary glands were significantly increased during 2 to 30 days of HFD feeding. Gnrh-r mRNA in the 30 days HFD fed group and body weight in the 30 and 150 days HFD fed groups were higher than control. However, there were no significant differences in plasma non-esterified fatty acids or glucose levels during the 150 days of HFD feeding. These results suggest that male mice feeding a short-term HFD induces FSH? synthesis and GPR120 expression in their pituitary gonadotropes.
Project description:Follicle-stimulating hormone (Fsh) and luteinizing hormone (Lh) produced by the gonadotropes play a major role in control of reproduction. Contrary to mammals and birds, Lh and Fsh are mostly produced by two separate cell types in teleost. Here, we investigated gonadotrope plasticity, using transgenic lines of medaka (Oryzias latipes) where DsRed2 and hrGfpII are under the control of the fshb and lhb promotors respectively. We found that Fsh cells appear in the pituitary at 8 dpf, while Lh cells were previously shown to appear at 14 dpf. Similar to Lh cells, Fsh cells show hyperplasia from juvenile to adult stages. Hyperplasia is stimulated by estradiol. Both Fsh and Lh cells show hypertrophy during puberty with similar morphology. They also share similar behavior, using their cellular extensions to make networks. We observed bi-hormonal gonadotropes in juveniles and adults but not in larvae where only mono-hormonal cells are observed, suggesting the existence of phenotypic conversion between Fsh and Lh in later stages. This is demonstrated in cell culture, where some Fsh cells start to produce Lh?, a phenomenon enhanced by gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gnrh) stimulation. We have previously shown that medaka Fsh cells lack Gnrh receptors, but here we show that with time in culture, some Fsh cells start responding to Gnrh, while fshb mRNA levels are significantly reduced, both suggestive of phenotypic change. All together, these results reveal high plasticity of gonadotropes due to both estradiol-sensitive proliferation and Gnrh promoted phenotypic conversion, and moreover, show that gonadotropes lose part of their identity when kept in cell culture.
Project description:Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and activin regulate synthesis of FSH and ultimately fertility. Recent in vivo studies cast SMAD4 and FOXL2 as master transcriptional mediators of activin signaling that act together and independently of GnRH to regulate Fshb gene expression and female fertility. Ovarian hormones regulate GnRH and its receptor (GNRHR) through negative and positive feedback loops. In contrast, the role of ovarian hormones in regulating activin, activin receptors, and components of the activin signaling pathway, including SMAD4 and FOXL2, remains understudied. The widespread distribution of activin and many of its signaling intermediates complicates analysis of the effects of ovarian hormones on their synthesis in gonadotropes, one of five pituitary cell types. We circumvented this complication by using a transgenic model that allows isolation of polyribosomes selectively from gonadotropes of intact females and ovariectomized females treated with or without a GnRH antagonist. This paradigm allows assessment of ovarian hormonal feedback and distinguishes responses that are either independent or dependent on GnRH. Surprisingly, our results indicate that Foxl2 levels in gonadotropes decline significantly in the absence of ovarian input and independently of GnRH. Expression of the genes encoding other members of the activin signaling pathway are unaffected by loss of ovarian hormonal feedback, highlighting their selective effect on Foxl2. Expression of Gnrhr, a known target of FOXL2, also declines upon ovariectomy consistent with reduced expression of Foxl2 and loss of ovarian hormones. In contrast, Fshb mRNA increases dramatically post-ovariectomy due to increased compensatory input from GnRH. Together these data suggest that ovarian hormones regulate expression of Foxl2 thereby expanding the number of genes controlled by the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis that ultimately dictate reproductive fitness.
Project description:Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is secreted in brief pulses from the hypothalamus and regulates follicle-stimulating hormone ?-subunit (FSH?) gene expression in pituitary gonadotropes in a frequency-sensitive manner. The mechanisms underlying its preferential and paradoxical induction of FSH? by low frequency GnRH pulses are incompletely understood. Here, we identify growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) as a GnRH-suppressed autocrine inducer of FSH? gene expression. GDF9 gene transcription and expression were preferentially decreased by high frequency GnRH pulses. GnRH regulation of GDF9 was concentration-dependent and involved ERK and PKA. GDF9 knockdown or immunoneutralization reduced FSH? mRNA expression. Conversely, exogenous GDF9 induced FSH? expression in immortalized gonadotropes and in mouse primary pituitary cells. GDF9 exposure increased FSH secretion in rat primary pituitary cells. GDF9 induced Smad2/3 phosphorylation, which was impeded by ALK5 knockdown and by activin receptor-like kinase (ALK) receptor inhibitor SB-505124, which also suppressed FSH? expression. Smad2/3 knockdown indicated that FSH? induction by GDF9 involved Smad2 and Smad3. FSH? mRNA induction by GDF9 and GnRH was synergistic. We hypothesized that GDF9 contributes to a regulatory loop that tunes the GnRH frequency-response characteristics of the FSH? gene. To test this, we determined the effects of GDF9 knockdown on FSH? induction at different GnRH pulse frequencies using a parallel perifusion system. Reduction of GDF9 shifted the characteristic pattern of GnRH pulse frequency sensitivity. These results identify GDF9 as contributing to an incoherent feed-forward loop, comprising both intracellular and secreted components, that regulates FSH? expression in response to activation of cell surface GnRH receptors.
Project description:Successful mammalian reproduction depends on proper synthesis of the pituitary-derived glycoprotein hormones, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Several transcription factors cooperate to activate cell-specific and hormone-regulated expression of the gonadotropin beta subunits (Lhb and Fshb). Among these, NR5A1 (steroidogenic factor 1; SF1) has been shown to directly bind to the Lhb promoter, mediate basal and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)-stimulated Lhb transcription, and possibly directly regulate Fshb expression. Recently, the closely-related NR5A2 was shown to activate the rat Lhb promoter in vitro. Here, we further characterized the role of NR5A2 in regulating gonadotropin synthesis. Ectopically expressed NR5A2 directly activated the murine Lhb promoter in a manner identical to that of NR5A1, whereas neither factor activated the murine Fshb promoter. In L?T2 gonadotrope-like cells, depletion of endogenous NR5A1 or NR5A2 impaired basal and GnRH-stimulated Lhb and Fshb transcription. To analyze the physiological role of NR5A2 in gonadotropes in vivo, we generated mice with a gonadotrope-specific deletion of Nr5a2. In contrast with our in vitro data, these mice had normal pituitary Lhb and Fshb expression and intact fertility. Together, our data establish that NR5A2 can act in a non-redundant manner to regulate Lhb and Fshb transcription in vitro, but is dispensable in vivo.
Project description:Continuous, as opposed to pulsatile, delivery of hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) leads to a marked decrease in secretion of pituitary gonadotropins LH and FSH and impairment of reproductive function. Here we studied the expression profile of gonadotropin subunit and GnRH receptor genes in rat pituitary in vitro and in vivo to clarify their expression profiles in the absence and continuous presence of GnRH. Culturing of pituitary cells in GnRH-free conditions downregulated Fshb, Cga, and Gnrhr expression, whereas continuous treatment with GnRH agonists upregulated Cga expression progressively and Gnrhr and Fshb expression transiently, accompanied by a prolonged blockade of Fshb but not Gnrhr expression. In contrast, Lhb expression was relatively insensitive to loss of endogenous GnRH and continuous treatment with GnRH, probably reflecting the status of Egr1 and Nr5a1 expression. Similar patterns of responses were observed in vivo after administration of a GnRH agonist. However, continuous treatment with GnRH stimulated LH secretion in vitro and in vivo, leading to decrease in LH cell content despite high basal Lhb expression. These data suggest that blockade of Fshb expression and depletion of the LH secretory pool are two major factors accounting for weakening of the gonadotroph secretory function during continuous GnRH treatment.
Project description:The beta subunit of follicle stimulating hormone (FSHB) is expressed specifically in pituitary gonadotropes in vertebrates. Transgenic mouse studies have shown that enhancers in the proximal promoter between -172/-1 bp of the ovine FSHB gene are required for gonadotrope expression of ovine FSHB. These enhancers are associated with regulation by activins and gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH). Additional distal promoter sequence between -4741/-750 bp is also required for expression. New transgenic studies presented here focus on this distal region and narrow it to 1116 bp between -1866/-750 bp. In addition, adenoviral constructs were produced to identify these critical distal sequences using purified primary mouse gonadotropes as an in vitro model system. The adenoviral constructs contained -2871 bp, -750 bp or -232 bp of the ovine FSHB promoter. They all showed gonadotrope-specific regulation since they were induced only in purified primary gonadotropes by activin A (50 ng/ml) and inhibited by GnRH (100 nM) in the presence of activin (except -232FSHBLuc). However, basal expression of all three viral constructs (in the presence of follistatin to block cellular induction by activin) was relatively high in pituitary non-gonadotropes as well as gonadotropes. Thus, gonadotrope-specific regulation associated with the proximal promoter was observed as expected, but the model was blind to distal promoter elements between -2871/-750 necessary for gonadotrope-specific expression of ovine FSHB in vivo. The new adenoviral-based in vitro technique did detect, however, a novel GnRH response element between -750 bp and -232 bp of the ovine FSHB promoter. We conclude that adenoviral-based studies in primary gonadotropes can adequately recognize regulatory elements on the ovine FSHB promoter associated with gonadotrope-specific regulation/expression, but that more physiologically based techniques, such as transgenic studies, will be needed to identify sequences between -1866/-750 bp of the ovine FSHB promoter that are also required for tissue/cell specific expression in vivo.
Project description:The pulsatile release of GnRH regulates the synthesis and secretion of pituitary FSH and LH. Two transcription factors, cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) and inducible cAMP early repressor (ICER), have been implicated in the regulation of rat Fshb gene expression. We previously showed that the protein kinase A pathway mediates GnRH-stimulated CREB activation. We hypothesized that CREB and ICER are activated by distinct signaling pathways in response to pulsatile GnRH to modulate Fshb gene expression, which is preferentially stimulated at low vs high pulse frequencies. In the L?T2 gonadotrope-derived cell line, GnRH stimulation increased ICER mRNA and protein. Blockade of ERK activation with mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase I/II (MEKI/II) inhibitors significantly attenuated GnRH induction of ICER mRNA and protein, whereas protein kinase C, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, and protein kinase A inhibitors had minimal effects. GnRH also stimulated ICER in primary mouse pituitary cultures, attenuated similarly by a MEKI/II inhibitor. In a perifusion paradigm, MEKI/II inhibition in L?T2 cells stimulated with pulsatile GnRH abrogated ICER induction at high GnRH pulse frequencies, with minimal effect at low frequencies. MEKI/II inhibition reduced GnRH stimulation of Fshb at high and low pulse frequencies, suggesting that the ERK pathway has additional effects on GnRH regulation of Fshb, beyond those mediated by ICER. Indeed, induction of the activating protein 1 proteins, cFos and cJun, positive modulators of Fshb transcription, by pulsatile GnRH was also abrogated by inhibition of the MEK/ERK signaling pathway. Collectively, these studies indicate that the signaling pathways mediating GnRH activation of CREB and ICER are distinct, contributing to the decoding of the pulsatile GnRH to regulate FSH? expression.