Refereed review article in scientific journal (A2)

Novel mechanisms for the metabolic control of puberty: implications for pubertal alterations in early-onset obesity and malnutrition

List of Authors: Vazquez MJ, Velasco I, Tena-Sempere M


Publication year: 2019

Journal: Journal of Endocrinology

Journal name in source: JOURNAL OF ENDOCRINOLOGY

Journal acronym: J ENDOCRINOL

Volume number: 242

Issue number: 2

Number of pages: 15

ISSN: 0022-0795


Puberty is driven by sophisticated neuroendocrine networks that timely activate the brain centers governing the reproductive axis. The timing of puberty is genetically determined; yet, puberty is also sensitive to numerous internal and external cues, among which metabolic/nutritional signals are especially prominent. Compelling epidemiological evidence suggests that alterations of the age of puberty are becoming more frequent; the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown, but the escalating prevalence of obesity and other metabolic/feeding disorders is possibly a major contributing factor. This phenomenon may have clinical implications, since alterations in pubertal timing have been associated to adverse health outcomes, including higher risk of earlier all-cause mortality. This urges for a better understanding of the neurohormonal basis of normal puberty and its deviations. Compelling evidence has recently documented the master role of hypothalamic neurons producing kisspeptins, encoded by Kiss?, in the neuroendocrine pathways controlling puberty. Kiss1 neurons seemingly participate in transmitting the regulatory actions of metabolic cues on pubertal maturation. Key cellular metabolic sensors, as the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and the fuel-sensing deacetylase, SIRT1, have been recently shown to participate also in the metabolic modulation of puberty. Recently, we have documented that AMPK and SIRT1 operate as major molecular effectors for the metabolic control of Kiss1 neurons and, thereby, puberty onset. Alterations of these molecular pathways may contribute to the perturbation of pubertal timing linked to conditions of metabolic stress in humans, such as subnutrition or obesity and might become druggable targets for better management of pubertal disorders.

Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 09:56