RNA interference of gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone gene induces arousal in songbirds

Takayoshi Ubuka, Motoko Mukai, Jordan Wolfe, Ryan Beverly, Sarah Clegg, Ariel Wang, Serena Hsia, Molly Li, Jesse S. Krause, Takanobu Mizuno, Yujiro Fukuda, Kazuyoshi Tsutsui, George E. Bentley, John C. Wingfield

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    46 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH) was originally identified in quail as a hypothalamic neuropeptide inhibitor of pituitary gonadotropin synthesis and release. However, GnIH neuronal fibers do not only terminate in the median eminence to control anterior pituitary function but also extend widely in the brain, suggesting it has multiple roles in the regulation of behavior. To identify the role of GnIH neurons in the regulation of behavior, we investigated the effect of RNA interference (RNAi) of the GnIH gene on the behavior of white-crowned sparrows, a highly social songbird species. Administration of small interfering RNA against GnIH precursor mRNA into the third ventricle of male and female birds reduced resting time, spontaneous production of complex vocalizations, and stimulated brief agonistic vocalizations. GnIH RNAi further enhanced song production of short duration in male birds when they were challenged by playbacks of novel male songs. These behaviors resembled those of breeding birds during territorial defense. The overall results suggest that GnIH gene silencing induces arousal. In addition, the activities of male and female birds were negatively correlated with GnIH mRNA expression in the paraventricular nucleus. Density of GnIH neuronal fibers in the ventral tegmental area was decreased by GnIH RNAi treatment in female birds, and the number of gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons that received close appositions of GnIH neuronal fiber terminals was negatively correlated with the activity of male birds. In summary, GnIH may decrease arousal level resulting in the inhibition of specific motivated behavior such as in reproductive contexts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere30202
    JournalPLoS One
    Volume7
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan 18

    Fingerprint

    Songbirds
    songbirds
    gonadotropins
    RNA Interference
    Arousal
    RNA interference
    Gonadotropins
    Genes
    hormones
    Hormones
    RNA
    Birds
    genes
    birds
    Music
    vocalization
    animal communication
    Neurons
    Fibers
    neurons

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
    • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
    • Medicine(all)

    Cite this

    Ubuka, T., Mukai, M., Wolfe, J., Beverly, R., Clegg, S., Wang, A., ... Wingfield, J. C. (2012). RNA interference of gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone gene induces arousal in songbirds. PLoS One, 7(1), [e30202]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0030202

    RNA interference of gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone gene induces arousal in songbirds. / Ubuka, Takayoshi; Mukai, Motoko; Wolfe, Jordan; Beverly, Ryan; Clegg, Sarah; Wang, Ariel; Hsia, Serena; Li, Molly; Krause, Jesse S.; Mizuno, Takanobu; Fukuda, Yujiro; Tsutsui, Kazuyoshi; Bentley, George E.; Wingfield, John C.

    In: PLoS One, Vol. 7, No. 1, e30202, 18.01.2012.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Ubuka, T, Mukai, M, Wolfe, J, Beverly, R, Clegg, S, Wang, A, Hsia, S, Li, M, Krause, JS, Mizuno, T, Fukuda, Y, Tsutsui, K, Bentley, GE & Wingfield, JC 2012, 'RNA interference of gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone gene induces arousal in songbirds', PLoS One, vol. 7, no. 1, e30202. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0030202
    Ubuka, Takayoshi ; Mukai, Motoko ; Wolfe, Jordan ; Beverly, Ryan ; Clegg, Sarah ; Wang, Ariel ; Hsia, Serena ; Li, Molly ; Krause, Jesse S. ; Mizuno, Takanobu ; Fukuda, Yujiro ; Tsutsui, Kazuyoshi ; Bentley, George E. ; Wingfield, John C. / RNA interference of gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone gene induces arousal in songbirds. In: PLoS One. 2012 ; Vol. 7, No. 1.
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