A Role for Glial Cells of the Neuroendocrine Brain in the Central Control of Female Sexual Development

  • Alejandro Lomniczi
  • Sergio R. Ojeda

It is now well established that astrocytes are active participants of the process by which information is generated and disseminated within the central nervous system (CNS). In the hypothalamus, astrocytes and ependymoglial cells of the median eminence, known as tanycytes, regulate the secretory activity of neuroendocrine neurons. A developmental process in which they are prominently involved is the neuroendocrine control of puberty. Mammalian puberty is initiated by an increase in pulsatile release of the decapeptide gonadotropin hormone-releasing hormone (GnRH) from a specialized subset of hypothalamic neuroendocrine neurons. Although a critical determinant of this increase is a coordinated change in the activity of neuronal networks synaptically connected to GnRH neurons, glial cells contribute to the process via two related mechanisms. One requires production of growth factors acting via receptors endowed with serine–threonine kinase or tyrosine kinase activity. The other involves...


Glutamine Synthetase Median Eminence Gonadal Steroid GnRH Neuron GnRH Secretion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



α-a-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazole-4-propionic acid


Adenosine 5′-triphosphate


Basic fibroblast growth factor


Carbonic anhydrase


Epidermal growth factor


Prostaglandin E receptor-type 1


Prostaglandin E receptor-type 3


Erythroblastosis B


Follicle-stimulating hormone


γ-Aminobutyric acid


Glutamate dehydrogenase


Gonadotropin hormone-releasing hormone


Glycosylphosphatidyl inositol


Glutamine synthetase


Heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor


Insulin-like growth factor-1




Luteinizing hormone


Metabotropic glutamate receptors


Nitric oxide




Organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis


Phosphate-activated glutaminase


Prostaglandin E2


Preoptic area


Receptor-like protein tyrosine phosphatase-β


Synaptic cell adhesion molecule


Tumor necrosis factor alpha converting enzyme


Transforming growth factor alpha


Transforming growth factor beta1



This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health HD25123, MH65438, U54 HD18185 through cooperative agreement as part of the Specialized Cooperative Center’s Program in Reproduction and Infertility Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/NIH, and RR00163 for the operation of the Oregon National Primate Research Center.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alejandro Lomniczi
    • 1
  • Sergio R. Ojeda
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of NeuroscienceOregon National Primate Research Center, Oregon Health and Science UniversityUSA

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