In order to study the effect of the temporal synergism of neural oscillations on reproductive regulation and the response of RFamide-related peptide-3 (RFRP-3; a mammalian ortholog of avian gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone), expression of immunoreactive RFRP-3 in the neurons of the dorsomedial nucleus of the hypothalamus was monitored in sexually immature and mature laboratory mice (study I). In study II, the effects of serotonin and dopamine precursors (5-hydroxytryptophan and L-dihydroxyphenylalanine; injected daily, 8 or 12 h apart, for 13 days in 3-week-old mice) on testicular activity and immunoreactive RFRP-3 neurons were studied until 24 days after treatment. Results indicate high levels of expression of immunoreactive RFRP-3 in the sexually immature and 8-hour mice (simulating gonadal suppression), while a low level was noted in mature and 12-hour mice (simulating gonadal stimulation). These findings not only suggest the modulation of gonadal development in mice (during the course of puberty attainment) by changing the temporal phase relation of serotonergic and dopaminergic oscillations (as in some seasonally breeding species), but also demonstrate an inverse correlation of RFRP-3 neurons and gonadal activity in both control and experimental conditions.
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