NeuroMolecular Medicine

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 525–536 | Cite as

Central Orexin A Affects Reproductive Axis by Modulation of Hypothalamic Kisspeptin/Neurokinin B/Dynorphin Secreting Neurons in the Male Wistar Rats

  • Abdolkarim Hosseini
  • Homayoun KhazaliEmail author
Original Paper


It is an established fact that orexin plays an important role in regulating the reproductive axis and the secretions of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)/luteinizing hormone (LH). However, its precise cellular and molecular mechanisms are not fully recognized. Accordingly, the aim of the present study is to find out whether the central injection of orexin A (OXA) and its antagonists, SB-334867 (as orexin receptor antagonist 1; OX1RA) and JNJ-10397049 (as orexin receptor antagonist 2; OX2RA), either alone or in combination, can leave any impact on the reproductive axis (either hormonal or behavioral) in the male Wistar rats. Furthermore, in order to see whether OXA signals can be relayed through the pathway of kisspeptin/neurokinin B/dynorphin (known as KNDy neurons, a neural network which works upstream of GnRH neurons) or not, the relative gene expression of these neuropeptides were measured. Overall, the data from radioimmunoassay revealed that OXA significantly decreases the mean serum level of LH and testosterone and, in a similar vein, its antagonists neutralize this impact. Moreover, data from real-time quantitative PCR indicated that OXA has significantly reduced the hypothalamic expression of Gnrh. In this line, the gene expressions of Kisspeptin and Neurokinin b decreased. However, OXA antagonists neutralize this impact. Also, the expression of Dynorphin gene was upregulated by the following application of the OXA. The results of this study are related to the impact of orexin on the reproductive axis. It is recommended that KNDy neurons as the interneural pathway relay the information of orexin to the GnRH neurons.


Orexin Kisspeptin Gonadotropin-releasing hormone Luteinizing hormone KNDy neurons 



Hereby the authors confirm that there is no conflict of interests in the present research. This research is supported financially by grant from Shahid Beheshti University.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal Sciences and Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences and BiotechnologyShahid Beheshti UniversityTehranIran

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