Rat RFRP-3 alters hypothalamic GHRH expression and growth hormone secretion but does not affect KiSS-1 gene expression or the onset of puberty in male rats.

PMID 18628614


RFRP-3 is a recently described neuropeptide that influences a variety of physiologic factors, including the inhibition of gonadotropin secretion and reproductive behaviors. We hypothesized that endogenous RFRP-3 could function to inhibit the onset of puberty in young male rats. To test this hypothesis, we first placed cannulas into the third ventricle of 24-day-old male rat pups. The cannulas were attached to osmotic minipumps that infused antisense oligonucleotides (ODNs) against RFRP-3. Second, cannulas were placed in the ventricle of 35-day-old pups and infused with RFRP-3, NPFF (putatively, an alternative transcript of the RFRP gene), or vehicle. No treatment altered the onset of puberty compared to controls. RFRP-3 ODN rats had significantly larger testes compared to control rats. Similarly, the RFRP-3 ODN-treated rats had a significant increase in plasma LH, but not FSH, compared to control rats. Rats infused with RFRP-3 exhibited significantly smaller testes compared to control rats. RFRP-3 rats also had a significant decrease in plasma LH levels. RFRP-3 infusion elicited a significant increase in growth hormone-releasing hormone mRNA and plasma growth hormone levels compared to control rats. Neither peptide had an effect on KiSS-1 mRNA expression. These data suggest that endogenous rat RFRP-3 does not affect the timing of puberty in male rats but may be associated with peripubertal rise in growth hormone secretion.

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Phe-Leu-Phe-Gln-Pro-Gln-Arg-Phe amide, ≥95% (HPLC)