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Front Neuroendocrinol. 2015 Jul;38:12-36. doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2014.12.004. Epub 2015 Jan 12.

Developmental variations in environmental influences including endocrine disruptors on pubertal timing and neuroendocrine control: Revision of human observations and mechanistic insight from rodents.

Author information

1
Developmental Neuroendocrinology Unit, GIGA Neurosciences, University of Liège, Sart-Tilman, B-4000 Liège, Belgium; Department of Pediatrics, CHU de Liège, Rue de Gaillarmont 600, B-4032 Chênée, Belgium.
2
Developmental Neuroendocrinology Unit, GIGA Neurosciences, University of Liège, Sart-Tilman, B-4000 Liège, Belgium.
3
Developmental Neuroendocrinology Unit, GIGA Neurosciences, University of Liège, Sart-Tilman, B-4000 Liège, Belgium; Department of Pediatrics, CHU de Liège, Rue de Gaillarmont 600, B-4032 Chênée, Belgium. Electronic address: jpbourguignon@ulg.ac.be.

Abstract

Puberty presents remarkable individual differences in timing reaching over 5 years in humans. We put emphasis on the two edges of the age distribution of pubertal signs in humans and point to an extended distribution towards earliness for initial pubertal stages and towards lateness for final pubertal stages. Such distortion of distribution is a recent phenomenon. This suggests changing environmental influences including the possible role of nutrition, stress and endocrine disruptors. Our ability to assess neuroendocrine effects and mechanisms is very limited in humans. Using the rodent as a model, we examine the impact of environmental factors on the individual variations in pubertal timing and the possible underlying mechanisms. The capacity of environmental factors to shape functioning of the neuroendocrine system is thought to be maximal during fetal and early postnatal life and possibly less important when approaching the time of onset of puberty.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescence; Endocrine disruptors; Gonadotropin releasing hormone; Puberty; Secular trends

PMID:
25592640
DOI:
10.1016/j.yfrne.2014.12.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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