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      Physiology of Puberty

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          Abstract

          Puberty is not a single event but one stage in development. The endocrine events of puberty in many ways recapitulate previous changes in the fetus. It is currently not known what triggers puberty at an appropriate time. It appears that puberty is restrained by higher central nervous system controls, but the restraint can be eliminated by injury or tumor growth resulting in premature puberty. The first endocrine event of puberty is an increase in the amplitude of gonadotropin pulses at night due to increased pulsatile release of hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) into the hypothalamic-pituitary portal system. This is reflected by an increase in luteinizing hormone secretion after a bolus of exogenous GnRH. Gonadal steroids are produced due to increased gonadotropin stimulation, and secondary sexual development follows a well-described pattern of changes. The pubertal growth spurt results from an increase in growth hormone secretion induced by sex steroids as well as from local production of growth factors. Positive feedback leads to the onset of menses and ovulation in girls by mid-puberty or later. This physical and reproductive maturity occurs in an orderly pattern, of which the physiology is described and in large part understood.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          HRE
          Horm Res Paediatr
          10.1159/issn.1663-2818
          Hormone Research in Paediatrics
          S. Karger AG
          978-3-8055-6003-0
          978-3-318-00608-7
          1663-2818
          1663-2826
          1994
          1994
          05 December 2008
          : 41
          : Suppl 2
          : 3-6
          Affiliations
          Department of Pediatrics, University of California at Davis, Sacramento, Calif, USA
          Article
          183949 Horm Res 1994;41:3–6
          10.1159/000183949
          8088700
          © 1994 S. Karger AG, Basel

          Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

          Page count
          Pages: 4
          Categories
          Workshop I: Puberty: Onset and Control

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