Kisspeptin, a newly discovered neuropeptide, regulates gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Kisspeptins are a large RF-amide family of peptides. The kisspeptin coded by KiSS-1 gene is a 145-amino acid protein that is cleaved to C-terminal peptide kisspeptin-10. G-protein-coupled receptor 54 (GPR54) has been identified as a kisspeptin receptor, and it is expressed in GnRH neurons and in a variety of cancer cells. In this study, enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) labeled GnRH cells with migratory properties, which express GPR54, served as a model to study the effects of kisspeptin on cell migration. We monitored EGFP-GnRH neuronal migration in brain slide culture of embryonic day 14 transgenic rat by live cell imaging system and studied the effects of kisspeptin-10 (1 nM) treatment for 36 h on GnRH migration. Furthermore, to determine kisspeptin-induced molecular pathways related with apoptosis and cytoskeletal changes during neuronal migration, we studied the expression levels of candidate genes in laser-captured EGFP-GnRH neurons by real-time PCR. We found that there was no change in the expression level of genes related to cell proliferation and apoptosis. The expression of ankyrin repeat domain-containing protein (ankrd) 26 in EGFP-GnRH neurons was upregulated by the exposure to kisspeptin. These studies suggest that ankrd 26 gene plays an unidentified role in regulating neuronal movement mediated by kisspeptin-GPR54 signaling, which could be a potential pathway to suppress cell migration.
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