Sex-specific distribution of Neuropeptide Y (NPY) in the brain of the frog, Microhyla ornata.


Department of Zoology, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Ganeshkhind Road, Pune 411 007, India. Electronic address: [Email]


Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is involved in sex-specific behavioural processes in vertebrates. NPY integrates energy balance and reproduction in mammals. However, the relevance of NPY in reproduction of lower vertebrates is understudied. In the present study, we have investigated neuroanatomical distribution and sex-specific differences of NPY in the brain of Microhyla ornata using immunohistochemistry and quantitative real time PCR. NPY is widely distributed throughout the brain of M. ornata. We observed NPY immunoreactivity in the cells of the nucleus accumbens, striatum pars dorsalis, dorsal pallium, medial pallium, ventral pallium, bed nucleus of stria terminalis, preoptic nucleus, infundibular region, median eminence and pituitary gland of adult M. ornata. A higher number of NPY- immunoreactive cells were observed in the preoptic nucleus (p < .01), nucleus infundibularis ventralis (p < .001) and anteroventral tegmental nucleus (p < .001) of the female as compared to that of the male frog. Real-Time PCR revealed higher mRNA levels of NPY in the female as compared to male frogs in the mid-brain region that largely contains the hypothalamus. Sexual dimorphism of NPY expression in M. ornata suggests that NPY may be involved in the reproductive physiology of anurans.


Amphibians,Hypothalamus,Immunohistochemistry,Neuropeptide Y,Sex-specific distribution,mRNA,