The decapeptide gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is the primary factor responsible for the hypothalamic control of gonadotropin secretion in vertebrates, but a hypothalamic neuropeptide inhibiting gonadotropin secretion was, until recently, unknown in vertebrates. In 2000, we discovered a novel hypothalamic dodecapeptide that inhibits gonadotropin release in quail and termed it gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH). GnIH acts on the pituitary and GnRH neurons in the hypothalamus via a novel G protein-coupled receptor for GnIH to inhibit gonadal development and maintenance by decreasing gonadotropin release and synthesis. The pineal hormone melatonin is a key factor controlling GnIH neural function. Because GnIH exists and functions in several avian species, GnIH is considered to be a new key neuropeptide controlling avian reproduction. After the discovery of GnIH in birds, the presence of GnIH homologs has been demonstrated in other vertebrates from fish to humans. Interestingly, mammalian GnIH homologs also act to inhibit reproduction by decreasing gonadotropin release in several mammalian species. It is concluded that GnIH and GnIH homologs act to inhibit gonadotropin release in higher vertebrates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)