Hypothalamic Galanin-Like Peptide Rescues the Onset of Puberty in Food-Restricted Weanling Rats
Galanin-like peptide (GALP) is a known mediator of metabolism and reproduction; however, the role that GALP plays in the onset of puberty is unknown. First, we tested the hypothesis that central GALP administration could rescue puberty in food-restricted weanling rats. GALP treatment in food-restricted rats of both sexes rescued the timing of the onset of puberty to that seen in ad lib. fed controls. Second, we tested whether GALP translation knocked-down in ad lib. fed, prepubertal rats would alter the timing of puberty. Knock-down females, but not males, showed a significant (P < 0.01) delay in the onset of puberty compared to controls. Third, we sought evidence that the role of GALP in pubertal onset is mediated by the kisspeptin system. In situ hybridisation analyses showed a significant (P < 0.01) reduction inKiss1 mRNA within the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus in food-restricted rats compared to ad lib. fed controls and this reduction was prevented with i.c.v. GALP administration. Furthermore, analyses of Fos-immunoreactivity (-IR) after i.c.v. GALP treatment did not elicit Fos-IR within any kisspeptin neurones, nor are GALP and kisspeptin peptides or mRNA colocalised. These data demonstrate that hypothalamic GALP infusion maintained the onset of puberty in food-restricted weanling rats, although probably not via direct innervation of kisspeptin neurones.