Neuroendocrine mechanisms controlling female puberty: New approaches, new concepts

Sergio R. Ojeda, Christian Roth, Alison Mungenast, Sabine Heger, Claudio Mastronardi, Anne Simone Parent, Alejandro Lomniczi, Heike Jung, J. Høgberg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    37 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Sexual development and mature reproductive function are controlled by a handful of neurones that, located in the basal forebrain, produce the decapeptide luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH). LHRH is released into the portal system that connects the hypothalamus to the pituitary gland and act on the latter to stimulate the synthesis and release of gonadotrophin hormones. The pubertal activation of LHRH release requires coordinated changes in excitatory and inhibitory inputs to LHRH-secreting neurones. These inputs are provided by both transsynaptic and glia-to-neurone communication pathways. Using cellular and molecular approaches, in combination with transgenic animal models and high-throughput procedures for gene discovery, we are gaining new insight into the basic mechanisms underlying this dual control of LHRH secretion and, hence, the initiation of mammalian puberty. Our results suggest that the initiation of puberty requires reciprocal neurone-glia communication involving excitatory amino acids and growth factors, and the coordinated actions of a group of transcriptional regulators that appear to represent a higher level of control governing the pubertal process.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)256-263
    Number of pages8
    JournalInternational Journal of Andrology
    Volume29
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Feb 1 2006

    Keywords

    • Astroglial cells
    • Glial-neuronal communication
    • Growth factors
    • Hypothalamus
    • Onset of puberty
    • Sexual development

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
    • Reproductive Medicine
    • Urology

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