Kisspeptin, a neuropeptide encoded by the KISS1/Kiss1, and its cognate G protein-coupled receptor, GPR54 (kisspeptin receptor, Kiss-R), are critical for the control of reproduction in vertebrates. We have previously identified two kisspeptin genes (kiss1 and kiss2) in the zebrafish, of which kiss1 neurons are located in the habenula, which project to the median raphe. kiss2 neurons are located in the hypothalamic nucleus and send axonal projections to gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons and regulate reproductive functions. However, the physiological significance of the Kiss1 expressed in the habenula remains unknown. Here we demonstrate the role of habenular Kiss1 in alarm substance (AS)-induced fear response in the zebrafish. We found that AS-evoked fear experience significantly reduces kiss1 and serotonin-related genes (plasmacytoma expressed transcript 1 and solute carrier family 6, member 4) in the zebrafish. Furthermore, Kiss1 administration suppressed the AS-evoked fear response. To further evaluate the role of Kiss1 in fear response, zebrafish Kiss1 peptide was conjugated to saporin (SAP) to selectively inactivate Kiss-R1-expressing neurons. The Kiss1-SAP injection significantly reduced Kiss1 immunoreactivity and c-fos mRNA in the habenula and the raphe compared with control. Furthermore, 3 d after Kiss1-SAP injection, the fish had a significantly reduced AS-evoked fear response. These findings provide an insight into the role of the habenular kisspeptin system in inhibiting fear.
|Pages (from-to)||3841 - 3846|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|