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Ablation of NK3 receptor-expressing KNDy neurons in the rat arcuate nucleus using [MePhe7]Neurokinin B-Saporin

Krajewski SJ, Smith MA, Williams H, Ciofi P, Lai JY, Mcmullen NT, Rance NE (2011) Ablation of NK3 receptor-expressing KNDy neurons in the rat arcuate nucleus using [MePhe7]Neurokinin B-Saporin. Neuroscience 2011 Abstracts 712.09. Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC.

Summary: A subpopulation of neurons expressing kisspeptin, neurokinin B and dynorphin (KNDy neurons) has been shown to reside within the arcuate nucleus of many mammalian species. Although these peptides are critical for reproductive function, the precise role of the arcuate KNDy neurons is not fully understood. Here we describe a method to ablate KNDy neurons based on their co-expression of the Neurokinin 3 receptor (NK3R, Burke et al., J. Comp. Neurol, 2006). Saporin, a molecular neurotoxin, was conjugated to [MePhe7]Neurokinin B, a selective NK3R agonist ([MePhe7]NKB-SAP, Advanced Targeting Systems, San Diego, CA). Binding studies revealed that the conjugation of saporin did not alter the affinity of [MePhe7]NKB to NK3R in rat cerebral cortex membranes. To investigate the specificity of this conjugate for ablation of NK3R neurons, stereotaxic surgery was used to bilaterally inject [MePhe7]NKB-SAP into the arcuate nucleus of female rats. Control rats were injected with saporin conjugated to a scrambled peptide (Blank-SAP, Advanced Targeting Systems). Rats were sacrificed 31-34 days later and the brains were processed for immunohistochemical studies. Nissl stained sections from [MePhe7]NKB-SAP-treated rats showed no signs of inflammation at the injection sites and no qualitative changes in cell density compared to Blank-SAP control rats. Immunohistochemistry revealed near-complete loss of NK3R-immunoreactive (ir) neurons throughout the arcuate nucleus of [MePhe7]NKB-SAP rats. When the injection site was dorsal to the arcuate nucleus, there was also variable loss of NK3R-ir cells in the lateral hypothalamus and zona incerta. In the arcuate nucleus, [MePhe7]NKB-SAP injections resulted in a 98% and 94% reduction in the number of kisspeptin and neurokinin B-ir neurons, respectively, compared to Blank-SAP controls. The number of dynorphin-ir neurons in the arcuate nucleus of [MePhe7]NKB-SAP-treated rats was reduced by 67%, a value consistent with the co-expression of NK3R on dynorphin neurons in our previous study (Burke et al., J. Comp. Neurol, 2006). In contrast, arcuate proopiomelanocortin and neuropeptide Y immunoreactivity were preserved in [MePhe7]NKB-SAP rats. Moreover, there was no difference in GnRH-ir fiber density in the median eminence between the two groups. These results document the utility of [MePhe7]NKB-SAP for selective ablation of NK3R-expressing KNDy neurons in rat hypothalamus. These rats were used to examine the role of KNDy neurons in the estrogen regulation of LH secretion and body weight in the female rat (see Smith et al., Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. 2011).

Related Products: Custom Conjugates, Blank-SAP (Cat. #IT-21)

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