Distribution of a novel avian gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone in the quail brain

Kazuyoshi Ukena, Takayoshi Ubuka, Kazuyoshi Tsutsui*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Citations (Scopus)


We recently identified a novel hypothalamic neuropeptide inhibiting gonadotropin release in the quail brain and termed it gonadotropin inhibitory hormone (GnIH). In this study, we investigated the localization and distribution of GnIH in both sexes of adult quails by immunohistochemistry with a specific antiserum against GnIH and in situ hybridization. Quantitative analysis demonstrated that the concentration of GnIH in the diencephalon was greater than that in the mesencephalon without sex difference. GnIH concentrations in the cerebrum and cerebellum were below the level of detectability. Clusters of GnIH-like immunoreactive (GnIH-ir) cell bodies were localized in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus. There was no significant difference in the number of GnIH-ir cells in the PVN between males and females. By double immunostaining with antisera reacting with GnIH or avian posterior pituitary hormones (vasotocin and mesotocin), GnIH-ir cells were found to be parvocellular neurons in the ventral portion of PVN, which showed no immunoreaction with the antisera against vasotocin and mesotocin. In situ hybridization revealed the cellular localization of GnIH mRNA in the PVN. GnIH-ir nerve fibers were however widely distributed in the diencephalic and mesencephalic regions. Dense networks of immunoreactive fibers were found in the ventral paleostriatum, septal area, preoptic area, hypothalamus, and optic tectum. The most prominent fibers were seen in the median eminence of the hypothalamus and the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus in the medulla oblongata. Thus, GnIH may participate not only in neuroendocrine functions, but also in behavioral and autonomic mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-79
Number of pages7
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Apr 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain
  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
  • Gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In situ hybridization
  • Japanese quail

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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