Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is the primary neuropeptide controlling reproduction in vertebrates. GnRH stimulates follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) synthesis via a G protein-coupled receptor, GnRHR, in the pituitary gland. In mammals, GnRHR lacks a C-terminal cytosolic tail (Ctail) and does not exhibit homologous desensitization. This might be an evolutionary adaptation that enables LH surge generation and ovulation. To test this idea, we fused the chicken GnRHR Ctail to the endogenous murine GnRHR in a transgenic model. The LH surge was blunted, but not blocked in these mice. In contrast, they showed reductions in FSH production, ovarian follicle development, and fertility. Addition of the Ctail altered the nature of agonist-induced calcium signaling required for normal FSH production. The loss of the GnRHR Ctail during mammalian evolution is unlikely to have conferred a selective advantage by enabling the LH surge. The adaptive significance of this specialization remains to be determined.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All mouse experiments in Canada were performed in accordance with institutional and federal guidelines and were approved by the McGill University Facility Animal Care Committee (DOW-A; protocol 5204). Mouse studies conducted at the National University of Mexico were performed under an institutional protocol similar to the United States Public Health Service Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, and according to the Official Mexican Guide from the Secretary of Agriculture (SAGARPA NOM-062-Z00-1999).
- Rajan Dighe, Indian Institute of Science Bangalore, India
© 2021, Toufaily et al.
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