Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)

The neuroendocrine pathways and mechanisms for the control of the reproduction in female pigs

Shuang Zhao; Zongyi Guo; Wei Xiang; Pingqing Wang

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Within the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonad (HPG) axis, the major hierarchical component is gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons, which directly or indirectly receive regulatory inputs from a wide array of regulatory signals and pathways, involving numerous circulating hormones, neuropeptides, and neurotransmitters, and which operate as a final output for the brain control of reproduction. In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in neuropeptides that have the potential to stimulate or inhibit GnRH in the hypothalamus of pigs. Among them, Kisspeptin is a key component in the precise regulation of GnRH neuron secretion activity. Besides, other neuropeptides, including neurokinin B (NKB), neuromedin B (NMB), neuromedin S (NMS), α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), Phoenixin (PNX), show potential for having a stimulating effect on GnRH neurons. On the contrary, RFamide-related peptide-3 (RFRP-3), endogenous opioid peptides (EOP), neuropeptide Y (NPY), and Galanin (GAL) may play an inhibitory role in the regulation of porcine reproductive nerves and may directly or indirectly regulate GnRH neurons. By combining data from suitable model species and pigs, we aim to provide a comprehensive summary of our current understanding of the neuropeptides acting on GnRH neurons, with a particular focus on their central regulatory pathways and underlying molecular basis.


pig, reproduction, neuroendocrine, GnRH neuron, RFamide-related peptide-3


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