Dopamine regulates reproduction in part by modulating neuronal activity within the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. Previous studies suggested numerous mechanisms by which dopamine exerts inhibitory control over the HPG axis, ultimately changing the levels of sex steroids that regulate reproductive behaviors. However, it is not known whether these mechanisms are conserved across vertebrate species. In particular, it is unknown whether mechanisms underlying dopaminergic control of reproduction are shared between mammals and teleost fish. In mammals, dopamine directly inhibits GnRH1 hypothalamic neurons, the gatekeepers for activation of the HPG axis. Here, we demonstrate, for the first time in teleost fish, dopaminergic control of GnRH1 neurons via direct dopamine receptor type-2 (D2R) mediated inhibition within the hypothalamus. These results suggest that direct dopaminergic control of GnRH1 neurons via interactions in the hypothalamus is not exclusive to tetrapod reproductive control, but is likely conserved across vertebrate species.
- Received August 5, 2016.
- Accepted October 4, 2016.
- © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd