Arcuate nucleus neuropeptide coexpression and connections to gonadotrophin-releasing hormone neurones in the female rhesus macaque

C. True, D. Takahashi, M. Kirigiti, S. R. Lindsley, C. Moctezuma, A. Arik, M. S. Smith, P. Kievit, K. L. Grove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The underlying hypothalamic neurocircuitry by which metabolism and feeding regulates reproductive function has been well-studied in the rodent; however, recent data have demonstrated significant neuroanatomical differences in the human brain. The present study had three objectives, centred on arcuate nucleus neuropeptides regulating feeding and reproduction: (i) to characterise coexpression patterns in the female nonhuman primate; (ii) to establish whether these neuronal populations make potential contacts with gonadotophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurones; and (iii) to determine whether these contacts differ between the low and high GnRH-releasing states of pre-puberty and adulthood, respectively. Female nonhuman primates have several coexpression patterns of hypothalamic neuropeptides that differ from those reported in rodents. Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) is not coexpressed with pro-opiomelanocortin but instead with neuropeptide Y (NPY). CART is also expressed in a subpopulation of kisspeptin cells in the nonhuman primate, similar to observations in humans but diverging from findings in rodents. Very few GnRH-expressing neurones received close appositions from double-labelled kisspeptin/CART fibres; however, both single-labelled kisspeptin and CART fibres were in frequent apposition with GnRH neurones, with no differences between prepubertal and adult animals. NPY/agouti-related peptide (AgRP) coexpressing fibres contacted significantly more GnRH neurones in prepubertal animals than adults, consistent with increased NPY and AgRP mRNA observed in prepubertal animals. The findings of the present study detail significant differences in arcuate nucleus neuropeptide coexpression in the monkey compared to the rodent and are consistent with the hypothesis that arcuate nucleus NPY/AgRP neurones play an inhibitory role in controlling GnRH neuronal regulation in the prepubertal primate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberJNE12491
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • AgRP
  • arcuate nucleus
  • neuroendocrine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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