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Current Protein & Peptide Science


ISSN (Print): 1389-2037
ISSN (Online): 1875-5550

Leptin, Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor, Leukemia Inhibitory Factor and Interleukin- 6: Class-I Cytokines Involved in the Neuroendocrine Regulation of the Reproductive Function

Author(s): E. Dozio, M. Ruscica, E. Galliera, M. M. Corsi and P. Magni

Volume 10, Issue 6, 2009

Page: [577 - 584] Pages: 8

DOI: 10.2174/138920309789630561

Price: $65


Class-I cytokines represent a large group of molecules involved in different physiological processes including host defence, immune regulation, food intake, energy metabolism and, relevant for this review, reproduction. In this latter respect, here, we focus the attention on four of these molecules, specifically leptin, ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). These cytokines present similar three-dimensional fold structure, interact with related class-I receptors, which are expressed in the same regions (i.e., hypothalamus), and activate similar intracellular pathways. Leptin and CNTF share functional similarities, by acting at hypothalamic and pituitary levels, and their receptors are colocalized in the arcuate and paraventricular nuclei of the hypothalamus. For both these molecules, no effect on GnRH migration has been described. LIF has also been shown to affect gonadotropin secretion and here we present the novel observation that it is also able to stimulate GnRH secretion in vitro. Moreover, in the mouse, LIF is prenatally expressed in nasal regions where GnRH neurons originate and start their migration, and in vitro it stimulates intrinsic cell motility and directional migration. The role of the prototypical cytokine, IL-6, on the GnRH-LH axis is not fully clear and additional information seem necessary to better clarify this aspect. In conclusion, the data here discussed suggest that this family of cytokines appears to participate to the complex control of the reproductive function by affecting the development and function of the hypothalamus-pituitary system at different ontogenic times and anatomical sites.

Keywords: Leptin, CNTF, LIF, IL-6, GnRH neurons, GT1-7 cells, GN11 cells, reproduction

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