Hypothalamic epigenetics driving female puberty

C. A. Toro, C. F. Aylwin, A. Lomniczi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Puberty involves a series of morphological, physiological and behavioural changes during the last part of the juvenile period that culminates in the attainment of fertility. The activation of the pituitary-gonadal axis by increased hypothalamic secretion of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is an essential step in the process. The current hypothesis postulates that a loss of transsynaptic inhibition and a rise in excitatory inputs are responsible for the activation of GnRH release. Similarly, a shift in the balance in the expression of puberty activating and puberty inhibitory genes exists during the pubertal transition. In addition, recent evidence suggests that the epigenetic machinery controls this genetic balance, giving rise to the tantalising possibility that epigenetics serves as a relay of environmental signals known for many years to modulate pubertal development. Here, we review the contribution of epigenetics as a regulatory mechanism in the hypothalamic control of female puberty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12589
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • GnRH neurones
  • KNDy neurones
  • Polycomb Group
  • Trithorax complex
  • arcuate nucleus
  • chromatin modifications
  • epigenetic regulators
  • female puberty
  • kisspeptin neurones
  • transcriptional activation
  • transcriptional repression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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