Estrus and menstrual cycles: Neuroendocrine control

M. S. Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


Estrous or menstrual cycles occur in mammals and refer to the phenomenon of cyclic ovarian function. Cyclic ovarian function is under the control of three interacting components: the hypothalamus, which releases gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH); the anterior pituitary, which responds to GnRH and releases the gonadotropins luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH); and the ovary, which responds to the gonadotropins, causing follicular maturation, steroid hormone production, and ovulation. In turn, the steroid hormones are part of exquisitely sensitive feedback loops that suppress or stimulate the release of GnRH, LH, and FSH. The hypothalamus is a key site where external environmental factors and ovarian steroids act to modulate GnRH neuronal activity and the GnRH pulse generator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Neuroscience
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9780080450469
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Energy balance
  • Estradiol
  • Estrous cycle
  • FSH
  • Follicular phase
  • GnRH
  • Gonadotropins
  • Hypothalamus
  • Kisspeptin
  • LH
  • Luteal phase
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Ovarian function
  • Preovulatory LH surge
  • Progesterone
  • Reproduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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