Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_775



Puberty is the transition from being sexually immature to sexual maturity and attainment of reproductive capacity. Complex interactions of hypothalamic-pituitary hormones and neuroendocrine factors take place to initiate puberty. Recent research indicates kisspeptin and its receptor GPR54 to play a key part in the initiation of puberty. Kisspeptin and GPR54 increase at the onset of puberty. Kisspeptin neurons innervate and stimulate hypothalamic gonadotropin releasing hormone (GNRH) neurons. In addition, kisspeptin neurons express estrogen and androgen receptors which may be important for the onset and tempo of puberty. The onset of puberty is also marked by increasing pulse and frequency of GNRH from the hypothalamus. GNRH then stimulates the pituitary to secrete gonadotropins (luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)) which directly stimulates the ovaries or testes to produce sex steroids. The increase of sex...

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References and Readings

  1. Lifshitz F (2007) Pediatric endocrinology, 5th edn. Informa Healthcare, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Oakley AE, Clifton DK, Steiner RA (2009) Kisspeptin signalling in the brain. Endocrine Reviews 30(6):713PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Sperling M (2008) Pediatric endocrinology, 3rd edn. Suanders/Elsevier, Philadelphia, PAGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PediatricsMiller School of Medicine, University of MiamiMiamiUSA