C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) is the most conserved member of the mammalian natriuretic peptide family, and is implicated in the endocrine regulation of growth, metabolism and reproduction. CNP is expressed throughout the body, but is particularly abundant in the central nervous system and anterior pituitary gland. Pituitary gonadotropes are regulated by pulsatile release of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamus, to control reproductive function. GnRH and CNP reciprocally regulate their respective signalling pathways in αT3-1 gonadotrope cells, but effects of pulsatile GnRH stimulation on CNP expression has not been explored. Here, we examine the sensitivity of the natriuretic peptide system in LβT2 and αT3-1 gonadotrope cell lines to continuous and pulsatile GnRH stimulation, and investigate putative CNP target genes in gonadotropes. Multiplex RT-qPCR assays confirmed that primary mouse pituitary tissue express Nppc,Npr2 (encoding CNP and guanylyl cyclase B (GC-B), respectively) and Furin (a CNP processing enzyme), but failed to express transcripts for Nppa or Nppb (encoding ANP and BNP, respectively). Pulsatile, but not continuous, GnRH stimulation of LβT2 cells caused significant increases in Nppc and Npr2 expression within 4 h, but failed to alter natriuretic peptide gene expression in αT3-1 cells. CNP enhanced expression of cJun, Egr1, Nr5a1 and Nr0b1, within 8 h in LβT2 cells, but inhibited Nr5a1 expression in αT3-1 cells. Collectively, these data show the gonadotrope natriuretic peptide system is sensitive to pulsatile GnRH signalling, and gonadotrope transcription factors are putative CNP-target genes. Such findings represent additional mechanisms by which CNP may regulate reproductive function.
- Gonadotrophs/drug effects
- Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone/pharmacology
- Natriuretic Peptide