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Gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH) was first discovered in the Japanese quail, and peptides with a C-terminal LPXRFamide sequence, the signature protein structure defining GnIH orthologs, are well conserved across vertebrate species, including fish, reptiles, amphibians, avians, and mammals. In the mammalian brain, three RFamide-related proteins (RFRP-1, RFRP-2, RFRP-3 = GnIH) have been identified as orthologs to the avian GnIH. GnIH is found primarily in the hypothalamus of all vertebrate species, while its receptors are distributed throughout the brain including the hypothalamus and the pituitary. The primary role of GnIH as an inhibitor of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and pituitary gonadotropin release is well conserved in mammalian and non-mammalian species. Circadian rhythmicity of GnIH, regulated by light and seasons, can influence reproductive activity, mating behavior, aggressive behavior, and feeding behavior. There is a potential link between circadian rhythms of GnIH, anxiety-like behavior, sleep, stress, and infertility. Therefore, in this review, we highlight the functions of GnIH in biological rhythms, social behaviors, and reproductive and non-reproductive activities across a variety of mammalian and non-mammalian vertebrate species. Copyright © 2021 Teo, Phon and Parhar.


Chuin Hau Teo, Brandon Phon, Ishwar Parhar. The Role of GnIH in Biological Rhythms and Social Behaviors. Frontiers in endocrinology. 2021;12:728862

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PMID: 34566893

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