Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons in the preoptic area may undergo morphological changes during the pubertal period when their activities are upregulated.
To clarify the regulatory mechanism of puberty onset, Dr. Quan Liu and co-workers from the First Hospital of Jilin University, China investigated the morphological changes of GnRH neurons in the preoptic area of GnRH-enhanced green fuorescent protein transgenic rats.
Under confocal laser microscopy, pubertal GnRH neurons exhibited an inverted Y distribution pattern.
Prepubertal GnRH neurons were generally unipolar and bipolar, and were distinguished as smooth type cells with few small processes or irregular type cells with many spine-like processes in the proximal dendrites.
The number of GnRH neurons in the preoptic area and spine-like processes were increased during the course of reproductive maturation.
There was no significant difference between male and female rats.
Immunofuorescence staining revealed synaptophysin punctae close to the distal end of GnRH neurons, indicating that some presynaptic terminals may form a synaptic linkage with these neurons.
The relevant study has been published in Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 9, No. 13, 2014).
Article: " Morphological changes of gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons in the rat preoptic area across puberty," by Haogang Xue1, Xiaodong Gai2, Weiqi Sun3, Chun Li2, Quan Liu4 (1 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Affliated Hospital of Beihua University, Changchun, Jilin Province, China; 2 Department of Pathology, Beihua University, Changchun, Jilin Province, China; 3 College of Public Health, Beihua University, Changchun, Jilin Province, China; 4 Department of Cardiovascular Disease, the First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin Province, China)
Xue HG, Gai XD, Sun WQ, Li C, Liu Q. Morphological changes of gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons in the rat preoptic area across puberty. Neural Regen Res. 2014;9(13):1303-1312.