Origin and Evolution of the Neuroendocrine Control of Reproduction in Vertebrates, with Special Focus on Genome and Gene Duplications.Physiol Rev 2019PR
In human, as in the other mammals, the neuroendocrine control of reproduction is ensured by the brain-pituitary gonadotropic axis. Multiple internal and environmental cues are integrated via brain neuronal networks, ultimately leading to the modulation of the activity of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons. The decapeptide GnRH is released into the hypothalamic-hypophyseal portal blood system, and stimulates the production of pituitary glycoprotein hormones, the two gonadotropins, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). A novel actor, the neuropeptide Kiss, acting upstream of GnRH, has attracted increasing attention in recent years. Other neuropeptides, such as gonadotropin-inhibiting hormone (GnIH)/ RF-amide related peptide (RFRP), and other members of the RF-amide peptide superfamily, as well as various non-peptidic neuromediators such has dopamine, serotonin also provide a large panel of stimulatory or inhibitory regulators. This paper addresses the origin and evolution of the vertebrate gonadotropic axis. Brain-pituitary neuroendocrine axes are typical of vertebrates, the pituitary gland, mediator and amplifier of brain control on peripheral organs, being a vertebrate innovation. The paper reviews, from molecular and functional perspectives, the evolution across vertebrate radiation of some key-actors of the vertebrate neuroendocrine control of reproduction, and traces back their origin along the vertebrate lineage and in other metazoa before the emergence of vertebrates. A focus is given on how gene duplications, resulting from either local events or from whole genome duplication events (WGD), and followed by paralogous gene loss or conservation, might have shaped the evolutionary scenarios of current families of key-actors of the gonadotropic axis.