We identified a novel 36-amino acid neuropeptide in rat brain as an endogenous ligand for the G protein-coupled receptors FM-3/GPR66 and FM-4/TGR-1, which were identified to date as the neuromedin U (NMU) receptors, and designated this peptide neuromedin S (NMS) because it was specifically expressed in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus. NMS shared a C-terminal core structure with NMU. NMS mRNA was highly expressed in the central nervous system, spleen and testis. In rat brain, NMS expression was restricted to the ventrolateral portion of the SCN and has a diurnal peak under light/dark cycling, but remains stable under constant darkness. Intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of NMS in rats induced nonphotic type phase shifts in the circadian rhythm of locomotor activity. ICV injection of NMS also decreased 12-h food intake during the dark period in rats. This anorexigenic effect was more potent than that observed with the same dose of NMU. ICV administration of NMS increased proopiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA expression in the arcuate nucleus (Arc) and corticotropin-releasing hormone mRNA in the paraventricular nucleus, and induced c-Fos expression in the POMC neurons in the Arc. These findings suggest that NMS is implicated in the regulation of circadian rhythm and feeding behavior.
Neuromedin U (NMU) is a widely spread neuropeptide, with predominant expression at the gastrointestinal tract and brain, putatively involved in the regulation of a diversity of biological functions, including food intake, energy balance and circadian rhythms; all closely related to reproduction. Yet, the implication of NMU in the control of the gonadotropic axis remains scarcely studied. We report herein analyses on the hypothalamic expression and function of NMU in different physiological and experimental states of rat reproductive system. Expression of NMU mRNA at the hypothalamus was persistently detected along female postnatal development, with maximum levels in adulthood that fluctuated across the cycle and were modulated by ovarian steroids. Acute central administration of NMU evoked increases of serum LH levels in pubertal female rats, while repeated injection of NMU tended to advance vaginal opening. Likewise, central injection of NMU increased serum LH concentrations in cyclic female rats, with peak responses in estrus. In contrast, NMU significantly inhibited pre-elevated LH secretion in gonadectomized and kisspeptin-treated rats. Finally, in acyclic females due to photoperiodic manipulation (constant light), hypothalamic NMU mRNA levels were markedly depressed but relative LH responses to exogenous NMU were significantly augmented. Altogether, our present data support a predominant stimulatory role of NMU in the control of the female gonadotropic axis, which appears under the influence of developmental, hormonal and photoperiodic cues, and might contribute to the joint regulation of energy balance, biological rhythms and reproduction. Key words: Neuromedin U (NMU), Luteinizing hormone (LH), Neuromedin S (NMS), Estrus cycle, Female rat.
We recently identified neuromedin S (NMS) as an endogenous ligand for the FM-4/TGR-1 receptor. Here, we examined the possible involvement of central NMS in regulation of urinary output and vasopressin (AVP) release in rats. Intracerebroventricular (icv) injection of NMS induced a dose-dependent increase in the plasma level of AVP, followed by a decrease of nocturnal urinary output. Expression of cFos after icv injection of NMS was observed in the supachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), arcuate nucleus, paraventricular nucleus (PVN), and supraoptic nucleus (SON). The cFos expressing cells in PVN and SON, but not SCN, were then double-stained using antibodies against the vasopressin. On the other hand, icv injection of neuromedin U, which also binds to the FM-4/TGR-1 receptor, required a concentration ten times higher than that of NMS in order to exert the same antidiuretic potency. These results suggest that central NMS may exert a physiological antidiuretic action via vasopressin release.
Neuromedin S (NMS) and neuromedin U (NMU) are regulatory peptides that share the C-terminal amino-acid sequence and act via common G protein-coupled receptors called NMUR1 and NMUR2. Semiquantitative real time-PCR showed that in the rat hypothalamus and testis NMS gene expression was markedly higher than that of the NMU gene, while the reverse occurred in the anterior pituitary and thyroid gland. Low expression of both genes was detected in the thymus, adrenal gland and ovary, whereas in the pancreatic islets only the expression of NMU mRNA was detected. In the rat hypothalamus the expression of the NMUR2 gene was strikingly higher than that of the NMUR1 gene; in contrast, in the testis and ovary the very low expression of NMUR2 contrasted with the relatively high expression of the NMUR1 gene. In the other glands examined only expression of the NMUR1 gene was found. The marked differences in the level of expression of NMU, NMS and their receptors in the hypothalamus and endocrine glands of the rat suggest that in this species such neuromedins may play different roles in the functional regulation of neuroendocrine axes.
Neuromedin S (NMS), a 36 amino acid peptide structurally related to neuromedin U, was recently identified in rat brain as ligand for the G protein-coupled receptor FM4/TGR-1, also termed neuromedin U receptor type-2 (NMU2R). Central expression of NMS appears restricted to the suprachiasmatic nucleus, and NMS has been involved in the regulation of dark-light rhythms and suppression of food intake. Reproduction is known to be tightly regulated by metabolic and photoperiodic cues. Yet the potential contribution of NMS to the control of reproductive axis remains unexplored. We report herein analyses of hypothalamic expression of NMS and NMU2R genes, as well as LH responses to NMS, in different developmental and functional states of the female rat. Expression of NMS and NMU2R genes was detected at the hypothalamus along postnatal development, with significant adulthood). In adult females, hypothalamic expression of NMS (which was confined to suprachiasmatic nucleus) and NMU2R significantly varied during the estrous cycle (maximum at proestrus) and was lowered after ovariectomy and enhanced after progesterone supplementation. Central administration of NMS evoked modest LH secretory responses in pubertal and cyclic females at diestrus, whereas exaggerated LH secretory bursts were elicited by NMS at estrus and after short-term fasting. Conversely, NMS significantly decreased elevated LH concentrations of ovariectomized rats. In summary, we provide herein novel evidence for the ability of NMS to modulate LH secretion in the female rat. Moreover, hypothalamic expression of NMS and NMU2R genes appeared dependent on the functional state of the female reproductive axis. Our data are the first to disclose the potential implication of NMS in the regulation of gonadotropic axis, a function that may contribute to the integration of circadian rhythms, energy balance, and reproduction.
A novel 36-amino acid neuropeptide, neuromedin S (NMS), has recently been identified in rat brain and has been shown to be an endogenous ligand for two orphan G protein-coupled receptors, FM-3/GPR66 and FM-4/TGR-1. These receptors have been identified as neuromedin U (NMU) receptor type-1 and type-2, respectively. In this study, the physiological role of the novel peptide, NMS, on feeding regulation was investigated. Intracerebroventricular (icv) injection of NMS decreased 12-h food intake during the dark period in rats. This anorexigenic effect was more potent and persistent than that observed with the same dose of NMU. Neuropeptide Y, ghrelin and agouti-related protein-induced food intake was counteracted by co-administration of NMS. Icv administration of NMS increased proopiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA expression in the arcuate nucleus (Arc) and CRH (CRH) mRNA in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN). Pretreatment with SHU9119 (antagonist for -melanocyte-stimulating hormone) and -helical CRF- (9-41) (antagonist for CRH) attenuated NMS-induced suppression of 24 h food intake. After icv injection of NMS, Fos-immunoreactive cells were detected in both the PVN and Arc. When neuronal multiple unit activity was recorded in the PVN before and after icv injection of NMS, a significant increase in firing rate was observed 5 min after administration, and this increase continued for 100 min. These results suggest that the novel peptide, NMS, may be a potent anorexigenic hormone in the hypothalamus, and that expression of POMC mRNA in the Arc and CRH mRNA in the PVN may be involved in NMS action on feeding.