At the turn of the millennium, a neuropeptide with pronounced inhibitory actions on avian pituitary gonadotrophin secretion was identified and named gonadotrophin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH). Across bird species, GnIH acts at the level of the pituitary and the gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neuronal system to inhibit reproduction. Subsequent to this initial discovery, orthologues of GnIH have been identified and characterised across a broad range of species. In many vertebrates, the actions of GnIH and its orthologues serve functional roles analogous to those seen in birds. In other cases, GnIH and its orthologues exhibit more diverse actions dependent on sex, species, season and reproductive condition. The present review highlights the discovery and functional implications of GnIH across species, focusing on research domains in which the significance of this neuropeptide has been explored most.
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