PACAP neurons in the ventral premammillary nucleus regulate reproductive function in the female mouse

Rachel A. Ross, Silvia León, Joseph C. Madara, Danielle Schafer, Chrysanthi Fergani, Caroline A. Maguire, Anne M.J. Verstegen, Emily Brengle, Dong Kong, Allan E. Herbison, Ursula B. Kaiser, Bradford B. Lowell, Victor M. Navarro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a neuromodulator implicated in anxiety, metabolism and reproductive behavior. PACAP global knockout mice have decreased fertility and PACAP modulates LH release. However, its source and role at the hypothalamic level remain unknown. We demonstrate that PACAP-expressing neurons of the ventral premamillary nucleus of the hypothalamus (PMVPACAP) project to, and make direct contact with, kisspeptin neurons in the arcuate and AVPV/PeN nuclei and a subset of these neurons respond to PACAP exposure. Targeted deletion of PACAP from the PMV through stereotaxic virally mediated cre- injection or genetic cross to LepR-i-cre mice with PACAPfl/fl mice led to delayed puberty onset and impaired reproductive function in female, but not male, mice. We propose a new, sex-specific role for PACAP-expressing neurons in the PMV in the relay of nutritional state information to regulate GnRH release by modulating the activity of kisspeptin neurons, thereby regulating reproduction. Disclosure statement The authors have nothing to disclose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Mar 2 2018


  • hypothalamus
  • kisspeptin
  • mouse
  • reproduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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