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Horm Mol Biol Clin Investig. 2014 Sep;19(3):141-9. doi: 10.1515/hmbci-2014-0017.

Role of the adipocyte-derived hormone leptin in reproductive control.

Abstract

Achievement of sexual maturation and maintenance of fertility in adulthood are functions that are sensitive to the metabolic status of the organism, particularly the magnitude of fat reserves. In this sense, the adipocyte-derived hormone, leptin, plays a major role in linking metabolic cues and the control of multiple neuroendocrine axes. The hypothalamus is a key site mediating leptin actions, including those involved in the modulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonads (HPG) axis at different stages of development and in different environmental conditions. In the present review, we provide an update of the role of leptin in reproduction and discuss its interactions with neurons, neurotransmitters and downstream targets of the reproductive axis, with a special emphasis on the actions of leptin in the central nervous system. We hope this review will contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms whereby metabolic signals, especially leptin, influence the reproductive neuroendocrine axis modulating its activity in different nutritional states. Special attention will be given to recent advances in the identification of key hypothalamic sites and signaling pathways relevant to leptin's action in reproductive control.

PMID:
25390022
PMCID:
PMC4242683
DOI:
10.1515/hmbci-2014-0017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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