Changes in the Central Nervous System and Neuroendocrine Control of Reproduction in Males and Females
Normal reproductive function in male and female mammals depends upon complex interactions among the brain, the anterior pituitary gland, and the gonad. Aging of this reproductive axis is associated with changes in each component. At this time, there is no general agreement among reproductive endocrinologists as to which of these changes are of primary importance and which are secondary effects of changes at another level of the reproductive axis. I will discuss the results of studies that demonstrate that alterations occur in the central nervous system (CNS), particularly in the hypothalamus, early during the aging process. These studies support the hypothesis that neurochemical and neuroendocrine changes may have important cascading repercussions at other points in the reproductive axis that ultimately result in infertility.
KeywordsLuteinizing Hormone Median Eminence Suprachiasmatic Nucleus Luteinizing Hormone Surge Luteinizing Hormone Secretion
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