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Gonadotropin-releasing hormone signaling: An information theoretic approach

Voliotis, Margaritis, Garner, Kathryn L., Alobaid, Hussah, Tsaneva-Atanasova, Krasimira, McArdle, Craig A.
Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 2017
G-protein coupled receptors, follicle-stimulating hormone, gonadotropin-releasing hormone, luteinizing hormone, mathematical models, reproduction, secretion, signal transduction
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is a peptide hormone that mediates central control of reproduction, acting via G-protein coupled receptors that are primarily Gq coupled and mediate GnRH effects on the synthesis and secretion of luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone. A great deal is known about the GnRH receptor signaling network but GnRH is secreted in short pulses and much less is known about how gonadotropes decode this pulsatile signal. Similarly, single cell measures reveal considerable cell-cell heterogeneity in responses to GnRH but the impact of this variability on signaling is largely unknown. Ordinary differential equation-based mathematical models have been used to explore the decoding of pulse dynamics and information theory-derived statistical measures are increasingly used to address the influence of cell-cell variability on the amount of information transferred by signaling pathways. Here, we describe both approaches for GnRH signaling, with emphasis on novel insights gained from the information theoretic approach and on the fundamental question of why GnRH is secreted in pulses.