Kisspeptin Neuron-Specific and Self-Sustained Calcium Oscillation in the Hypothalamic Arcuate Nucleus of Neonatal Mice: Regulatory Factors of its Synchronization

Doyeon Kim, Sangwon Jang, Jeongah Kim, Inah Park, Kyojin Ku, Mijung Choi, Sukwon Lee, Won Do Heo, Gi Hoon Son, Han Kyoung Choe, Kyungjin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Synchronous and pulsatile neural activation of kisspeptin neurons in the arcuate nucleus (ARN) are important components of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone pulse generator, the final common pathway for central regulation of mammalian reproduction. However, whether ARN kisspeptin neurons can intrinsically generate self-sustained synchronous oscillations from the early neonatal period and how they are regulated remain unclear. Objective: This study aimed to examine the endogenous rhythmicity of ARN kisspeptin neurons and its neural regulation using a neonatal organotypic slice culture model. Methods: We monitored calcium (Ca2+) dynamics in real-time from individual ARN kisspeptin neurons in neonatal organotypic explant cultures of Kiss1-IRES-Cre mice transduced with genetically encoded Ca2+ indicators. Pharmacological approaches were employed to determine the regulations of kisspeptin neuron-specific Ca2+ oscillations. A chemogenetic approach was utilized to assess the contribution of ARN kisspeptin neurons to the population dynamics. Results: ARN kisspeptin neurons in neonatal organotypic cultures exhibited a robust synchronized Ca2+ oscillation with a period of approximately 3 min. Kisspeptin neuron-specific Ca2+ oscillations were dependent on voltage-gated sodium channels and regulated by endoplasmic reticulum-dependent Ca2+ homeostasis. Chemogenetic inhibition of kisspeptin neurons abolished synchronous Ca2+ oscillations, but the autocrine actions of the neuropeptides were marginally effective. Finally, neonatal ARN kisspeptin neurons were regulated by N-methyl-D-aspartate and gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor-mediated neurotransmission. Conclusion: These data demonstrate that ARN kisspeptin neurons in organotypic cultures can generate synchronized and self-sustained Ca2+ oscillations. These oscillations controlled by multiple regulators within the ARN are a novel ultradian rhythm generator that is active during the early neonatal period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1010-1027
Number of pages18
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2017R1A2A1A05001351) and Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology Start-up Fund Program (2019010078).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 S. Karger AG. All rights reserved.


  • Arcuate nucleus
  • Ca2+ oscillation
  • Kisspeptin
  • Neonate
  • Synchronization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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