Regulation of reproduction via tight control of gonadotropin hormone levels.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.mce.2017.03.022
Mammalian reproduction is controlled by the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. GnRH from the hypothalamus regulates synthesis and secretion of gonadotropins, LH and FSH, which then control steroidogenesis and gametogenesis. In females, serum LH and FSH levels exhibit rhythmic changes throughout the menstrual or estrous cycle that are correlated with pulse frequency of GnRH. Lack of gonadotropins leads to infertility or amenorrhea. Dysfunctions in the tightly controlled ratio due to levels slightly outside the normal range occur in a larger number of women and are correlated with polycystic ovaries and premature ovarian failure. Since the etiology of these disorders is largely unknown, studies in cell and mouse models may provide novel candidates for investigations in human population. Hence, understanding the mechanisms whereby GnRH regulates gonadotropin hormone levels will provide insight into the physiology and pathophysiology of the reproductive system. This review discusses recent advances in our understanding of GnRH regulation of gonadotropin synthesis.