GnRH Regulates Gonadotropin Gene Expression Through NADPH/Dual Oxidase-Derived Reactive Oxygen Species.

PMID 25849727


The appropriate control of synthesis and secretion of the gonadotropin hormones LH and FSH by pituitary gonadotropes is essential for the regulation of reproduction. The hypothalamic neuropeptide GnRH is the central regulator of both processes, coordinating secretion with transcription and translation of the gonadotropin hormone subunit genes. The MAPK family of second messengers is strongly induced in gonadotropes upon GnRH stimulation, and multiple pathways activate these kinases. Intracellular reactive oxygen species participate in signaling cascades that target MAPKs, but also participate in signaling events indicative of cell stress. The NADPH oxidase (NOX)/dual oxidase (DUOX) family is a major enzymatic source of intracellular reactive oxygen, and we show that GnRH stimulation of mouse primary pituitary cells and the LβT2 gonadotrope cell line elevates intracellular reactive oxygen via NOX/DUOX activity. Mouse pituitary and LβT2 cells abundantly express NOX/DUOX and cofactor mRNAs. Pharmacological inhibition of NOX/DUOX activity diminishes GnRH-stimulated activation of MAPKs, immediate-early gene expression, and gonadotropin subunit gene expression. Inhibitor studies implicate the calcium-activated DUOX family as a major, but not exclusive, participant in GnRH signaling. Knockdown of DUOX2 in LβT2 cells reduces GnRH-induced Fshb, but not Lhb mRNA levels, suggesting differential sensitivity to DUOX activity. Finally, GnRH pulse-stimulated FSH and LH secretion are suppressed by inhibition of NOX/DUOX activity. These results indicate that reactive oxygen is a potent signaling intermediate produced in response to GnRH stimulation and further suggest that reactive oxygen derived from other sources may influence the gonadotrope response to GnRH stimulation.