The recently established immortalized hypothalamic cell model mHypoA-55 possesses characteristics similar to those of Kiss-1 neurons in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) region of the hypothalamus. Here, we show that Kiss-1 gene expression in these cells was downregulated by 17β-estradiol (E2) under certain conditions. Both neurotensin (NT) and corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) were expressed in these cells and upregulated by E2. Stimulation of mHypoA-55 cells with NT and CRH significantly decreased Kiss-1 mRNA expression. A mammalian gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone homolog, RFamide-related peptide-3 (RFRP-3), was also found to be expressed in mHypoA-55 cells, and RFRP-3 expression in these cells was increased by exogenous melatonin stimulation. E2 stimulation also upregulated RFRP-3 expression in these cells. Stimulation of mHypoA-55 cells with RFRP-3 significantly increased the expression of NT and CRH. Furthermore, melatonin stimulation resulted in the increase of both NT and CRH mRNA expression in mHypoA-55 cells. On the other hand, in experiments using mHypoA-50 cells, which were originally derived from hypothalamic neurons in the anteroventral periventricular nucleus, Kiss-1 gene expression was upregulated by both NT and CRH, although E2 increased both NT and CRH expression, similarly to the mHypoA-55 cells. Our observations using the hypothalamic ARC cell model mHypoA-55 suggest that NT and CRH have inhibitory effects on Kiss-1 gene expression under the influence of E2 in association with RFRP-3 expression. Thus, these neuropeptides might be involved in E2-induced negative feedback mechanisms.
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