Accumulating evidence has shown that follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) may influence the functions of non-gonadal tissues, in addition to their classic target gonads. Our previous studies revealed that the scented glands of male muskrats expressed prolactin receptor, steroidogenic enzymes and inhibin/activin subunits. To further seek the evidence of the activities of pituitary gonadotropins in scented glands, we investigated the seasonal expression patterns of FSH receptor (FSHR) and LH/choriogonadotropin receptor (LHCGR). The weight and size of scented glands in the breeding season were significantly higher than those in the non-breeding season. Immunohistochemical studies showed that FSHR was present in the serous cells of scented gland while LHCGR in the interstitial cells. The protein and mRNA expression levels of FSHR and LHCGR were significantly higher in the scented glands during the breeding season than those during the non-breeding season. Importantly, the levels of circulating FSH and LH were remarkably higher in the breeding season. Taken together, these results suggested that gonadotropins may affect the function of muskrat scented gland via the locally expressed receptors in a season-dependent manner.
- FSH receptor
- LH/choriogonadotropin receptor
- Scented gland
- Seasonal change
- Copyright © 2017, American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology