The mechanism by which arcuate kisspeptin (ARNKISS) neurons co-expressing glutamate, neurokinin B, and dynorphin intermittently synchronize their activity to drive pulsatile hormone secretion remains unclear in females. In order to study spontaneous synchronization within the ARNKISS neuron network, acute brain slices were prepared from adult female Kiss1-GCaMP6 mice. Analysis of both spontaneous synchronizations and those driven by high frequency stimulation of individual ARNKISS neurons revealed that the network exhibits semi-random emergent excitation dependent upon glutamate signaling through AMPA receptors. No role for NMDA receptors was identified. In contrast to male mice, ongoing tachykinin receptor tone within the slice operated to promote spontaneous synchronizations in females. As previously observed in males, we found that ongoing dynorphin transmission in the slice did not contribute to synchronization events. These observations indicate that a very similar AMPA receptor-dependent mechanism underlies ARNKISS neuron synchronizations in the female mouse supporting the "glutamate two-transition" model for kisspeptin neuron synchronization. However, a potentially important sex difference appears to exist with a more prominent facilitatory role for tachykinin transmission in the female.
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