Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is a neuropeptide that has an essential role in the neural regulation of vertebrate reproduction. Over the past two decades there has been increasing evidence strongly indicating that members of the GnRH superfamily, which includes GnRH, adipokinetic hormone (AKH), corazonin (Crz) and adipokinetic hormone/corazonin-related peptides (ACP), are almost ubiquitous amongst bilateral animals. Moreover GnRH possibly has origins in even more ancient, non-bilateral ancestors. Current knowledge about molluscan GnRH has been accumulated regarding immunological identification, physiological function and sequence analysis. In the present review we summarized a current status of molluscan GnRH research and focus on its role in the reproduction of the molluscs. In cephalopods and gastropods the presence of a GnRH-like peptide was detected with heterologous antibodies and the identified GnRH was suggested to be involved with behavior and reproduction. Reproductive roles for GnRH have been confirmed in both bivalve and cephalopod molluscs. These findings will provide useful insights into the evolution of reproductive endocrinology.
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