GnRH: The Master Molecule of Reproduction / Edition 1

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Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) cells are the key regulators of reproductive function in all vertebrate organisms. The GnRH molecule is synthesized in a small number of neurons in rostral hypothalamic regions of the brain. In mammals, these neurons release the GnRH decapeptide into the portal capillary system leading to the anterior pituitary gland. There, GnRH causes the release of the gonadotropins, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which in turn act upon the gonads to stimulate their maturation, and to cause synthesis of sex steroid hormones, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Although each of the levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis is critical for reproductive function, GnRH neurons play the primary role in the control of reproductive maturation and adult reproductive function, and may even play a role in reproductive senescence.

Since its discovery in 1970, there has been intense interest in GnRH-producing neurons, with more than 8000 papers and chapters in the last decade alone. Despite this activity of research in basic and clinical science, there has never been a book written specifically on GnRH neurons. GnRH: The Master Molecule of Reproduction aims to bring together the large and diverse literature of both laboratory and applied research that focuses on these unique cells.

This book will provide basic background into reproductive neuroendocrinology, as well as specifics regarding the role of GnRH neurons in the control of reproduction. Students studying endocrinology, reproduction, neuroendocrinology or molecular endocrinology will benefit from this book. In addition, this book will take a multi-species approach which will be useful both to basic researchers as well as clinicians. Whenever possible, species differences and similarities will be presented, and if possible, studies on humans, or the clinical relevance of basic research findings to humans will be discussed (such as the treatment of reproductive disorders such as abnormalities in pubertal development, or infertility).

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792376811
  • Publisher: Springer US
  • Publication date: 4/30/2002
  • Edition description: 2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 9.21 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Introduction 1
1 Neuroanatomy of the GnRH-1 System 9
Hypophysiotropic GnRH-1 Neurons: Neuroanatomy 11
GnRH in Mast Cells in the Brain 21
GnRH Cells in the Peripheral Nervous System 23
GnRH Cells Outside the Nervous System 24
2 GnRH Pulsatility 29
In Vivo Measurements of Pulsatile GnRH Release 30
Electrophysiology of GnRH Neurons in Vivo 38
In Vitro Measurements of GnRH Pulsatility 42
How are GnRH Pulses Coordinated? 49
3 GnRH Neurons: Changes Across the Life Cycle 53
Embryonic Development of GnRH Neurons 54
The Role of GnRH Neurons in Pubertal Development 61
The Role of GnRH Neurons in Adulthood 80
Reproductive Aging 85
4 Factors Regulating GnRH Neurons 93
Neurotransmitters and Neuromodulators Regulating GnRH Neurons 94
Neurotrophic Factors and Cytokines Regulating GnRH Neurons 118
Are Steroid Hormone Receptors on GnRH Neurons? 121
5 The GnRH Gene 125
Structure & Processing of the GnRH-1 Gene 125
GnRH 5' Flanking Region and Gene Transcription 127
Regulation of GnRH Gene Expression in Vivo 131
Post-Transcriptional Regulation of GnRH mRNA Levels 150
FOS Expression in GnRH Neurons 151
6 Multiple GnRH Molecules, Phylogeny and Evolution 157
Amino Acid and Gene Sequences and Structures of GnRH 159
Co-Existence of Multiple GnRHS in Vertebrate Brains 161
GnRH in Invertebrates 168
Evolution of GnRH 170
How Ancient is GnRH? 173
7 GnRH Neurons and Reproductive Behavior 175
Effects of GnRH on Sexual Behavior in Females 175
Effects of GnRH on Sexual Behavior in Males 177
Species Comparisons 178
Neurotransmitters Involved in Effects of GnRH on Reproductive Behaviors 178
Effects of Behavior on GnRH Expression 179
8 GnRH Neuronal Cell Lines 183
The Creation and Properties of the Immortalized GnRH Cell Lines 183
Neurotransmitters Regulating GnRH Cell Lines 189
Second Messengers and Signal Transduction in GnRH Cell Lines 195
Neurotrophic Factors and Cytokines Regulating GnRH Cell Lines 198
Peripheral Proteins Regulating GnRH Cell Lines 201
Do GnRH Cell Lines Express Steroid Hormone Receptors? 201
Caveats of Immortalized GnRH Cell Lines 203
9 GnRH Mutants and Transgenic Mice 205
GnRH Transgenic Animals 205
The Hypogonadal (HPG) Mouse 211
10 GnRH in Humans 217
Localization and Morphology of Human GnRH-1 Neurons 217
Pulsatile GnRH/LH Release in Humans 218
Molecular Biology of GnRH in Humans 222
GnRH Therapy 223
GnRH Agonists and Antagonists 226
Bibliography 229
Index 317
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