Veronica Kim L&S Sciences
The Role of Two, Opposing RFamide Peptides in Female Reproductive Functioning
Normal female reproductive health requires the precise temporal coordination of the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Disruptions to circadian rhythms have pronounced negative health consequences, including an increased incidence of heart disease, obesity, ulcers, and cancer. Most relevant to the present studies, women with disrupted circadian rhythms exhibit pronounced deficits in ovulation and fecundity. My project investigates the circadian control of two, opposing neuropeptides that act upstream of the reproductive axis, gonadotropin-inhibiting hormone (GnIH) and kisspeptin. Our lab has shown that both of these neuropeptidergic systems receive monosynaptic SCN input and that this mode communication is critical for ovulation. My study will use a combination of gene knockdown and overexpression strategies combined with pharmacology to elucidate the specific means by which the SCN balances the activity of these positive and negative regulators to initiate ovulation.