Endocrine Abstracts (2017) 50 S6.2 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.50.S6.2

Brain Mechanisms for the Metabolic Control of Puberty

Manuel Tena-Sempere1,2,3,4


1University of Cordoba, Cordoba, Spain; 2Maimonides Institute of Biomedical Research of Cordoba (IMIBIC), Cordoba, Spain; 3CIBEROBN, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Cordoba, Spain; 4FiDiPro Program, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.


Puberty is a major developmental event in the life-course of any individual that is under the control of sophisticated regulatory networks, which integrate central and peripheral signals, as well as environmental cues. Among its numerous modifiers, puberty is highly sensitive to metabolic signals, and different metabolic stressors, ranging from subnutrition to morbid obesity, are known to have a discernible impact on the tempo of puberty, which might have a durable impact on disease risk and health status later in life. While the neuroendocrine substrate for the metabolic gating of puberty remains ill defined, our knowledge of the mechanisms whereby whole body metabolism and pubertal timing are tightly connected has recently expanded significantly. This has been due, to a large extent, to the discovery of the pubertal impact of key metabolic hormones, epitomized by the permissive role of leptin on puberty onset, as well as the identification of the key roles of the neuropeptide, kisspeptin, in the precise control of pubertal timing; a function that seemingly includes an important role as relay for the metabolic regulation of puberty. In this presentation, we will briefly summary these recent developments and will focus our attention on recent findings illustrating the roles of brain circuits involving cellular energy sensors, such as AMPK, and neuropeptide partners of kisspeptin, such as neurokinin-B and melanocortins, in the integral regulation of body weight homeostasis, metabolism and puberty.

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