Endocrine Abstracts (2010) 22 PL3

Novel regulator of gonadotropin

Robert Millar

MRC Human Reproductive Sciences Unit, 47 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4TJ, UK.

The central role of GnRH in gonadotropin was established over four decades ago. The development of agonist and antagonist analogs and the understanding of its interaction with the GnRH receptor has revolutionized the treatment of hormone-dependent diseases and controlled induction of ovulation for IVF.

The absence of steroid and metabolic product receptors in GnRH neurons has presented a conundrum for understanding feedback and mechanisms for gonadotropin regulation. The discovery that mutations in receptors for kisspeptin and neurokinin B (and in the ligands themselves) gives rise to a failure to progress through puberty led to the recognition that these neuropeptides are regulators of the GnRH neurons and mediators of steroid and metabolic regulators of reproduction.

These discoveries have opened up a new era of the neuroendocrine regulation of reproduction which will facilitate a comprehensive understanding of physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms involved. They also herald the development of new therapeutics with potentially more subtle intervention.

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