Projections of RFamide-related peptide-3 neurones in the ovine hypothalamus, with special reference to regions regulating energy balance and reproduction

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Abstract RFamide-related peptide-3 (RFRP-3) is a neuropeptide produced in cells of the paraventricular nucleus and dorsomedial nucleus of the ovine hypothalamus. In this study, we show that these cells project to cells in regions of the hypothalamus involved in energy balance and reproduction. A retrograde tracer (FluoroGold) was injected into either the arcuate nucleus, the lateral hypothalamic area or the ventromedial nucleus. The distribution and number of retrogradely labelled RFRP-3 neurons was determined. RFRP-3 neurons projected to the lateral hypothalamic area and, to a lesser degree, to the ventromedial nucleus and the arcuate nucleus. Double label immunohistochemistry was employed to identify cells receiving putative RFRP-3 input to cells in these target regions. RFRP-3 cells were seen to project to neuropeptide Y and pro-opiomelanocortin neurons in the arcuate nucleus, orexin and melanin-concentrating hormone neurons in the lateral hypothalamic area, as well as orexin cells in the dorsomedial nucleus and corticotrophin-releasing hormone and oxytocin cells in the paraventricular nucleus. Neurons expressing gonadotropin-releasing hormone in the preoptic area were also seen to receive input from RFRP-3 projections. We conclude that RFRP-3 neurons project to hypothalamic regions and cells involved in regulation of energy balance and reproduction in the ovine brain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690 - 697
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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