An animal's fitness is dependent on its ability to successfully reproduce, a goal that is contingent on the precise coordination of behavior, physiology, and environmental factors. For most animals, energy availability and its biological allocation are the ultimate factors in the regulation of reproduction; the metabolic condition of an animal is therefore tightly linked to its reproductive behavior. One factor recently implicated in the coordination between energy availability and reproduction is the gonadotropin-releasing hormone variant, GnRH II. This peptide is highly conserved across vertebrate species, from fish to humans, and yet little is known about its biological functions. Recent evidence links GnRH II to changes in energy availability as well as feeding and reproductive behaviors. I hypothesize that GnRH II acts as a permissive factor for reproduction based on an animal's nutritional and energetic status. The goal of this proposal is to characterize the relationship between food availability, behavior, and GnRH II, and to determine the peptide's mechanism of action. There are three specific aims: 1.) Determine the receptor subtypes and pathways that GnRH II activates to regulate behavior; 2.) Determine the neural sites of action for GnRH II in the regulation of behavior; 3.) Determine how energetic status affects GnRH II peptide and type-2 GnRH receptor content in the brain. ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-F02A (20))
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Curvey, Mary F
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University of Virginia
Other Basic Sciences
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Kauffman, Alexander S; Bojkowska, Karolina; Rissman, Emilie F (2010) Critical periods of susceptibility to short-term energy challenge during pregnancy: Impact on fertility and offspring development. Physiol Behav 99:100-8
Kauffman, Alexander S; Park, Jin Ho; McPhie-Lalmansingh, Anika A et al. (2007) The kisspeptin receptor GPR54 is required for sexual differentiation of the brain and behavior. J Neurosci 27:8826-35
Kauffman, Alexander S; Bojkowska, Karolina; Wills, Aileen et al. (2006) Gonadotropin-releasing hormone-II messenger ribonucleic acid and protein content in the mammalian brain are modulated by food intake. Endocrinology 147:5069-77
Kauffman, Alexander S; Buenzle, Jennifer; Fraley, Gregory S et al. (2005) Effects of galanin-like peptide (GALP) on locomotion, reproduction, and body weight in female and male mice. Horm Behav 48:141-51
Kauffman, A S; Wills, A; Millar, R P et al. (2005) Evidence that the type-2 gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptor mediates the behavioural effects of GnRH-II on feeding and reproduction in musk shrews. J Neuroendocrinol 17:489-97
Kauffman, Alexander S; Rissman, Emilie F (2004) A critical role for the evolutionarily conserved gonadotropin-releasing hormone II: mediation of energy status and female sexual behavior. Endocrinology 145:3639-46
Kauffman, A S (2004) Emerging functions of gonadotropin-releasing hormone II in mammalian physiology and behaviour. J Neuroendocrinol 16:794-806
Kauffman, Alexander S; Rissman, Emilie F (2004) The evolutionarily conserved gonadotropin-releasing hormone II modifies food intake. Endocrinology 145:686-91