Regulation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)-receptor gene expression in tilapia: Effect of GnRH and dopamine

Berta Levavi-Sivan*, Helena Safarian, Hanna Rosenfeld, Abigail Elizur, Ayelet Avitan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


The present work was designed to study certain aspects of the endocrine regulation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor (GnRH-R) in the pituitary of the teleost fish tilapia. A GnRH-R was cloned from the pituitary of hybrid tilapia (ta-GnRH-R) and was identified as a typical seven-transmembrane receptor. Northern blot analysis revealed a single GnRH-R transcript in the pituitary of approximately 2.3 kilobases. The ta-GnRH-R mRNA levels were significantly higher in females than in males. Injection of the salmon GnRH analog (sGnRHa; 5-50 μg/kg) increased the steady-state levels of taGnRH-R mRNA, with the highest response recorded at 25 μg/kg and at 36 h. At the higher dose of sGnRHa (50 μ/kg), taGnRH-R transcript appeared to be down-regulated. Exposure of tilapia pituitary cells in culture to graded doses (0.1-100 nM) of seabream (sbGnRH = GnRH I), chicken II (cGnRH II), or salmon GnRH (sGnRH = GnRH III) resulted in a significant increase in taGnRH-R mRNA levels. The highest levels of both LH release and taGnRH-R mRNA levels were recorded after exposure to cGnRH II and the lowest after exposure to sbGnRH. The dopamine-agonist quinpirole suppressed LH release and mRNA levels of taGnRH-R, indicating an inhibitory effect on GnRH-R synthesis. Collectively, these data provide evidence that GnRH in tilapia can up-regulate, whereas dopamine down-regulates, taGnRH-R mRNA levels.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1545-1551
Number of pages7
JournalBiology of Reproduction
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • Dopamine
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor
  • Onadotropin-releasing hormone
  • Pituitary


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