Ryan, Genevieve E. et al.
Within pituitary gonadotropes, the gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor (GnRHR) receives hypothalamic input from GnRH neurons that is critical for reproduction. Previous studies have suggested that androgens may regulate GnRHR, although the mechanisms remain unknown. In this study, we demonstrated that androgens positively regulate Gnrhr mRNA in mice. We then investigated the effects of androgens and androgen receptor (AR) on Gnrhr promoter activity in immortalized mouse LβT2 cells, which represent mature gonadotropes. We found that AR positively regulates the Gnrhr proximal promoter, and that this effect requires a hormone response element (HRE) half site at -159/-153 relative to the transcription start site. We also identified nonconsensus, full-length HREs at -499/-484 and -159/-144, which are both positively regulated by androgens on a heterologous promoter. Furthermore, AR associates with the Gnrhr promoter in ChIP. Altogether, we report that GnRHR is positively regulated by androgens through recruitment of AR to the Gnrhr proximal promoter.