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The melanin-concentrating hormone [MCH] peptidergic system: neurogenesis and lactation

Grant number: 15/05990-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2015
Effective date (End): June 20, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Jackson Cioni Bittencourt
Grantee:Jozélia Gomes Pacheco Ferreira
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):18/04659-0 - Transcriptional characterization of Pmch-expressing cells in the hypothalamus of lactating female mice (Mus musculus), BE.EP.PD   16/19845-9 - Characterization of the melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCHR1) in the brain, mammary gland, uterus and ovaries in wild type and MCHR1 knockout mice, BE.EP.PD


The melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is an important neuropeptide, initially described as an orexigenic factor, but associated with a lot of physiological actions, especially in motivated behaviors. Exclusively during lactation is possible to detect the mRNA expression of prepro-MCH (ppMCH mRNA) and immunoreactivity to MCH in the medial preoptic area (MPOA), reaching its peak intensity around weaning age (22 days), and then disappear. As the MPOA is a region intensely related to the expression of maternal behavior, it is possible that the MCH plays a role in the development of lactation, although there is no known mechanism to describe this role. Objective: To investigate the action of the MCH and others factors involved in the development of lactation, by analyzing the total transcriptome MPOA neurons at different times of lactation. Materials and Methods: The MPOA of rats in different periods (diestrus, pregnancy, 5°, 12°, 19° days of lactation and 26°) will be dissected, total RNA and proteins will be extracted and subjected to RNA-Seq and Small RNA-Seq techniques to identify the total transcriptome of these animals, qRT-PCR will be used to validate the results and to evaluate genes of interest identified in the literature. Western blotting, ELISA, EIA experiments will be used for protein quantitation. Preliminary Results: The FosB transcription factor showed an expression pattern similar to the MCH, which may indicate a possible functional correlation between their expressions. Additionally, the transcript of prolactin was found exclusively in the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) but not in the MPOA, indicating that the action of prolactin on MPOA do not have an autocrine or paracrine pattern. The expression of mRNA ppMCH corroborates the literature data obtained by in situ hybridization. Conclusion: The FosB showed different levels of expression throughout lactation, same as reported for the MCH. Additional studies are needed to determine which other transcripts are differentially expressed and their possible role in lactation. (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
PACHECO FERREIRA, JOZELIA GOMES; GOMES DUARTE, JESSICA CATHARINE; DINIZ, GIOVANNE BARONI; BITTENCOURT, JACKSON CIONI. Litter size determines the number of melanin-concentrating hormone neurons in the medial preoptic area of Sprague Dawley lactating dams. Physiology & Behavior, v. 181, p. 75-79, NOV 1 2017. Web of Science Citations: 2.
PACHECO FERREIRA, JOZELIA GOMES; BITTENCOURT, JACKSON CIONI; ADAMANTIDIS, ANTOINE. Melanin-concentrating hormone and sleep. CURRENT OPINION IN NEUROBIOLOGY, v. 44, p. 152-158, JUN 2017. Web of Science Citations: 7.

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