The presence of three gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) forms in the brain of the chub mackerel, Scomber japonicus, namely, salmon GnRH (sGnRH), chicken GnRH-II (cGnRH-II), and seabream GnRH (sbGnRH), was confirmed by combined high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and time-resolved fluoroimmunoassay (TR-FIA). Immunocytochemical localization of the three GnRH forms in the brain was Investigated by using specific antisera, to elucidate possible roles of each GnRH form in reproduction in this species, and double immunolabeling was used to localize GnRH-ir (immunoreactive) fibers Innervating the pituitary. sGnRH-ir neurons were localized in the ventral olfactory bulb and terminal nerve ganglion region. Further, sGnRH-ir fibers were found in different regions of the brain, with prominent fibers running in parallel in the preoptic area (POA) without entering the pituitary. cGnRH-II-ir cell bodies were observed only in the midbrain tegmentum region, with a wide distribution of fibers, which were dense in the midbrain tegmentum and spinal cord. SbGnRH-ir cell bodies were localized in the nucleus preopticus of the POA, with fibers in the olfactory bulb, POA, and hypothalamus. Among the three GnRH forms, only SbGnRH-ir fibers innervated the pituitary gland from the preoptic-hypothalamic region, targeting follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH)-producing cells in the proximal pars distalis, as demonstrated by double immunocytochemistry. The localization of the GnRH-ir system was similar in male and female fish. These results demonstrate that multiple GnRH forms exist in the brain of the chub mackerel and suggest that they serve different functions, with SbGnRH having a significant role in reproduction in stimulating FSH- and LH-producing cells, and sGnRH and cGnRH-II serving as neurotransmitters or neuromodulators.
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