Effects of Nourishing “Yin”-Removing “Fire” Chinese Herb Mixture on the Differential Expression of GABAA Receptor α Subunits in Hypothalamus of Precocious Puberty Female Rats


GABAergic input to Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons is necessary to initiate the onset of puberty and its action mainly depends on GABAA receptor of which the subunit composition, properties and consequently function varies during this period. Nourishing “Yin”-Removing “Fire” Chinese herb mixture, a Chinese herb-based formulation, has been proved that it may retard the initiation of pubertal development in female precocious puberty rats. Our objective is to investigate the effects of Nourishing “Yin”-Removing “Fire” Chinese herb mixture on the expression of GABAA receptor α subunits in hypothalamus. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into normal (N), precocious puberty model (M) induced by danazol, model exposed to saline (MS) and model exposed to Chinese herb mixture (CHM) groups. All rats were administered by the Chinese herb mixture from P15 on. Coefficients of reproductive organs and serum gonadotropins and estradiol levels in M were significantly enhanced while they were significantly decreased in CHM. The hypothalamic GnRH mRNA was also significantly increased in M and in CHM, as well as ERα mRNA. At the mean time, the hypothalamic GABAA receptor α1 and α3 subunits mRNA were more significantly decreased in M than those of N, while they were more significantly enhanced in CHM than those in M (p < 0.01), the protein expression of which in hypothalamus had the same trend as the mRNA expression. The evidence suggests that Nourishing “Yin”-Removing “Fire” Chinese herb mixture could significantly retard the sexual development of the precocious rats, and up-regulate the expressions of hypothalamic GABAA receptor α1 and α3 subunits. Our result indicated that GABAA receptor α1 and α3 subunits might involve in the effective treatment of herb mixture on idiopathic precocious puberty.

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J. Li, Y. Sun, S. Wang, J. Yu and Z. Tian, "Effects of Nourishing “Yin”-Removing “Fire” Chinese Herb Mixture on the Differential Expression of GABAA Receptor α Subunits in Hypothalamus of Precocious Puberty Female Rats," Chinese Medicine, Vol. 4 No. 3, 2013, pp. 87-96. doi: 10.4236/cm.2013.43013.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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