The Journal of Physiological Sciences

, Volume 62, Issue 6, pp 453–460 | Cite as

The effects of gonadal steroid manipulation on the expression of Kiss1 mRNA in rat arcuate nucleus during postnatal development

  • Ken TakumiEmail author
  • Norio Iijima
  • Kinuyo Iwata
  • Shimpei Higo
  • Hitoshi Ozawa
Original Paper


Kisspeptins, encoded by Kiss1 gene, play pivotal roles in the regulation of reproduction. Recently, several studies reported a sex difference in Kiss1 expression in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) during the neonatal period. In this study, we investigated the effect of gonadal steroid manipulation on the sex difference in Kiss1 expression in ARC of rats. At neonatal and prepubertal stages, females had a greater number of Kiss1 neurons than the males. Gonadectomy at those stages resulted in significant increases in the Kiss1 neuron number and the sex differences disappeared. We also confirmed the expression of estrogen receptor α in kisspeptin neurons in neonates. Altogether, our results indicate that ARC Kiss1 expression is negatively regulated by gonadal steroids from early postnatal stages, and that the sex difference in ARC Kiss1 expression is attributed to the difference in circulating gonadal steroid levels. We also found that neonatal estrogenization inhibits Kiss1 expression and impairs negative feedback system.


Kisspeptin Arcuate nucleus Gonadal steroid Negative feedback Development 



We are grateful to Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. for kindly providing rat Kiss1 cDNA. This work was supported by the Grants-in-Aid from Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture, Japan (#S0801035, 22590230 to H.O. and 23659125 to N.I.) and MEXT-Supported Program for the Strategic Research Foundation at Private Universities.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Physiological Society of Japan and Springer 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ken Takumi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Norio Iijima
    • 1
  • Kinuyo Iwata
    • 1
  • Shimpei Higo
    • 1
  • Hitoshi Ozawa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Graduate School of MedicineNippon Medical SchoolTokyoJapan

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