The hypothalamus-pituitary-ovary (HPO) axis plays fundamental roles in female neuroendocrinology and reproduction. Pituitary gonadotropins are located in the center of this axis. Previous investigation suggested that miR-7 is closely linked with gonadotropins. However, the interaction between miR-7 and the HPO axis remains unclear. This study aims to determine whether and how miR-7 functions in this axis. A mouse ovariectomy model and mouse primary pituitary cells were used in this study. The results showed that miR-7 is localized to gonadotrophs and somatotrophs. miR-7 can inhibit the expression, synthesis and secretion of gonadotropins, but not growth hormones. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) has inhibitory effects on miR-7, while estrogen enhances miR-7 expression. miR-7 is vital for the pathway by which GnRH and estrogen regulate gonadotropins by targeting v-raf-leukemia viral oncogene 1 (Raf1). Together, these results indicate that miR-7 acts as a potential switch in the feedback loop of the HPO axis by regulating gonadotropins.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.