Endocrinology of female puberty

Sara A. DiVall, Sally Radovick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose of review: Puberty is the developmental process that culminates in reproductive capability. It is initiated by the release of gonadotropin- releasing hormone from specialized neurons of the hypothalamus to stimulate hormonal cascades and gonadal activation. The age of pubertal onset in girls may be younger than in previous decades, emphasizing the gaps in knowledge about pubertal onset and factors that modulate it. This review describes the state of the debate on the age of pubertal initiation, recent insights into the physiology of female puberty and its relationship to childhood obesity, and the regulation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons at puberty. Recent findings: Recent studies suggest that the average age of pubertal onset is decreasing in American girls, sparking controversy in defining the age at which puberty is considered precocious. Obese girls have hyperinsulinemia and hyperandrogenemia prepubertally, but it is unclear whether these factors play a role in the early onset of puberty in obese girls. The kisspeptin/G protein-coupled receptor 54 pathway is important for pubertal initiation; an activating mutation in the pathway has been associated with precocious puberty. Summary: The recent trend toward obesity has been proposed to play a role in the cause of early puberty in girls. The molecular mechanisms that initiate puberty are slowly being elucidated, with the discovery of kisspeptin prompting a novel direction in reproductive research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2009

Fingerprint

Endocrinology
Puberty
Kisspeptins
Age of Onset
Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
Precocious Puberty
Neurons
Pediatric Obesity
Hyperinsulinism
G-Protein-Coupled Receptors
Hypothalamus
Obesity
Mutation
Research

Keywords

  • G protein-coupled receptor 54
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone
  • Kisspeptin
  • Obesity
  • Pubertal onset

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Internal Medicine
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

Endocrinology of female puberty. / DiVall, Sara A.; Radovick, Sally.

In: Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity, Vol. 16, No. 1, 02.2009, p. 1-4.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DiVall, Sara A. ; Radovick, Sally. / Endocrinology of female puberty. In: Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity. 2009 ; Vol. 16, No. 1. pp. 1-4.
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