In vertebrates, female receptivity to male courtship is highly dependent on ovarian secretion of estrogens and prostaglandins. We recently identified female-specific neurons in the medaka (Oryzias latipes) preoptic area that express Npba, a neuropeptide mediating female sexual receptivity, in response to ovarian estrogens. Here we show by transcriptomic analysis that these neurons express a multitude of neuropeptides, in addition to Npba, in an ovarian-dependent manner, and we thus termed them female-specific, sex steroid-responsive peptidergic (FeSP) neurons. Our results further revealed that FeSP neurons express a prostaglandin E2 receptor gene, ptger4b, in an ovarian estrogen-dependent manner. Behavioral and physiological examination of ptger4b-deficient female medaka found that they exhibit increased sexual receptivity while retaining normal ovarian function and that their FeSP neurons have reduced firing activity and impaired neuropeptide release. Collectively, this work provides evidence that prostaglandin E2/Ptger4b signaling mediates the estrogenic regulation of FeSP neuron activity and female sexual receptivity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)