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      Nutritional Determinants of the Timing of Puberty

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      Annual Review of Public Health

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          Public health implications of altered puberty timing.

          Changes in puberty timing have implications for the treatment of individual children, for the risk of later adult disease, and for chemical testing and risk assessment for the population. Children with early puberty are at a risk for accelerated skeletal maturation and short adult height, early sexual debut, potential sexual abuse, and psychosocial difficulties. Altered puberty timing is also of concern for the development of reproductive tract cancers later in life. For example, an early age of menarche is a risk factor for breast cancer. A low age at male puberty is associated with an increased risk for testicular cancer according to several, but not all, epidemiologic studies. Girls and, possibly, boys who exhibit premature adrenarche are at a higher risk for developing features of metabolic syndrome, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease later in adulthood. Altered timing of puberty also has implications for behavioral disorders. For example, an early maturation is associated with a greater incidence of conduct and behavior disorders during adolescence. Finally, altered puberty timing is considered an adverse effect in reproductive toxicity risk assessment for chemicals. Recent US legislation has mandated improved chemical testing approaches for protecting children's health and screening for endocrine-disrupting agents, which has led to changes in the US Environmental Protection Agency's risk assessment and toxicity testing guidelines to include puberty-related assessments and to the validation of pubertal male and female rat assays for endocrine screening.
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            KiSS-1 neurones are direct targets for leptin in the ob/ob mouse.

            Leptin is an adipocyte-derived hormone that acts on the hypothalamus to influence feeding, metabolism and reproduction, but the cellular and molecular targets for the action of leptin in the brain have yet to be fully elucidated. Kisspeptins are encoded by the Kiss1 gene, which is expressed in the hypothalamus and has been implicated in the neuroendocrine regulation of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone secretion. We tested the hypothesis that kisspeptin-expressing neurones are targets for leptin. First, we examined whether leptin regulates the expression of Kiss1 by comparing levels of KiSS-1 mRNA in the arcuate nucleus among groups of mice having different circulating levels of leptin: (i) wild-type (WT); (ii) leptin-deficient ob/ob; and (iii) ob/ob mice treated with leptin. All mice were castrated to control for endogenous concentrations of gonadal steroids. KiSS-1 mRNA was significantly reduced in ob/ob compared to WT mice and levels of KiSS-1 mRNA in ob/ob mice treated with leptin were increased, but not fully restored to that found in WT animals. Second, we performed double-label in situ hybridisation for KiSS-1 mRNA and the leptin receptor (Ob-Rb) mRNA and found that almost one-half (approximately 40%) of KiSS-1 mRNA-expressing cells in the arcuate nucleus expressed Ob-Rb mRNA. These results demonstrate that KiSS-1 neurones are direct targets for regulation by leptin and suggest that the reproductive deficits associated with leptin-deficient states may be attributable, in part, to diminished expression of Kiss1.
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              Bmi in childhood and its association with height gain, timing of puberty, and final height.

              No large population-based study has addressed the question of how overnutrition is related to subsequent height gain in childhood, timing of puberty, and final height. The present data represent a large Swedish population-based longitudinal growth study. Height gain in childhood, timing of reaching peak height velocity and height gain during adolescence, and final height were regarded as the short-term, interim, and long-term outcomes of childhood nutritional status, i.e. body mass index (BMI) change between 2 and 8 y. Midparental height was adjusted as the genetic influence on linear growth of the child. Childhood BMI gain was related to an increased height gain during the same period, i.e. an increase of 1 BMI unit was associated with an increase in height of 0.23 cm in boys and 0.29 cm in girls. A higher BMI gain in childhood was related to an earlier onset of puberty; the impact on the timing of puberty was 0.6 y in boys and 0.7 y in girls. Each increased unit of BMI gain in childhood also reduced the height gain in adolescence, 0.88 cm for boys and 0.51 cm for girls. No direct correlation was shown between childhood BMI gain and final height. We conclude that overnutrition between 2 and 8 y of age will not be beneficial from a final height point of view, as the temporary increase in height gain in childhood will be compensated by an earlier pubertal maturity and a subnormal height gain in adolescence.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Annual Review of Public Health
                Annu. Rev. Public Health
                Annual Reviews
                0163-7525
                1545-2093
                March 18 2016
                March 18 2016
                : 37
                : 1
                : 33-46
                Article
                10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031914-122606
                © 2016

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