A full-length cDNA encoding a GnRH receptor (GnRH-R) has been obtained from the brain of rainbow trout. This cDNA encodes a protein of 386 amino acids (aa) exhibiting the typical arrangement of the G-protein-coupled receptors in seven transmembrane domains. However, a second ATG could give rise to a receptor with a 30-aa longer extracellular domain. As already shown in other fish and Xenopus, this protein possesses an intracellular domain, in contrast with its mammalian counterparts. In the case of rainbow trout, this intracellular carboxy-terminal tail consists of 58 residues. Northern blotting experiments carried out in the brain, the pituitary, and the liver only resulted in a single band of 1.9–2 kilobases in the pituitary, although reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction amplification products were found in the brain, the pituitary, the retina, and the ovary. In situ hybridization using a probe corresponding to the full-length coding region of the receptor was performed on vitellogenic or ovulating females and allowed to detect a weak but specific signal in the proximal pars distalis of the pituitary, the preoptic region, the mediobasal hypothalamus, and the optic tectum. However, the strongest signal was consistently detected in a mesencephalic structure, the nucleus lateralis valvulae, the significance of which is presently open to speculation.
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