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Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2016 Mar;4(3):254-264. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(15)00418-0. Epub 2016 Feb 4.

Pubertal development and regulation.

Author information

1
Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
2
Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address: ukaiser@partners.org.

Abstract

Puberty marks the end of childhood and is a period when individuals undergo physiological and psychological changes to achieve sexual maturation and fertility. The hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis controls puberty and reproduction and is tightly regulated by a complex network of excitatory and inhibitory factors. This axis is active in the embryonic and early postnatal stages of life and is subsequently restrained during childhood, and its reactivation culminates in puberty initiation. The mechanisms underlying this reactivation are not completely known. The age of puberty onset varies between individuals and the timing of puberty initiation is associated with several health outcomes in adult life. In this Series paper, we discuss pubertal markers, epidemiological trends of puberty initiation over time, and the mechanisms whereby genetic, metabolic, and other factors control secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone to determine initiation of puberty.

PMID:
26852256
PMCID:
PMC5192018
[Available on 2017-03-01]
DOI:
10.1016/S2213-8587(15)00418-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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