By John Bancroft; June Machover Reinisch

Scientists from 10 disciplines give a contribution essays which discover a variety of features of this serious level in human improvement, in a quantity designed for the good thing about social and developmental psychologists, psychologists attracted to sexuality reports, and baby and adolescent psychiatrists.

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It is therefore likely that the quiescence of GnRH neurons prior to puberty results from the presence of an inhibitory signal impinging upon the GnRH neurons or the lack of a stimulatory drive to these neurons. Inhibitory signals such as gonadal or adrenal steroids and opioid peptides do not appear to be responsible for inhibiting puberty onset. There is some evidence for a neuronal system in the posterior hypothalamus that holds GnRH neuronal activity in check, but the nature of this system has not been char- 24 Biological and Environmental Factors acterized.

Not only are GnRH neurons present in the hypothalamus prior to puberty, but they also appear to be responsible for driving the limited prepubertal gonadotropin secretion. This has been demonstrated by studies showing that the administration of a GnRH antiserum to prepubertal cynomolgus monkeys suppresses the scarcely detectable levels of circulating LH (Fig. , 1985a). Further evidence that GnRH neurons are capable of driving LH and FSH secretion prior to puberty comes from studies showing that administration of an excitatory neurotransmitter, N-methyl-D,L-aspartic acid (NMA), releases adultlike pulses of LH in prepubertal rhesus monkeys (Gay & Plant, 1987).

1981). , 1984). Figure 2-7 shows the typical gonadotropin responses present in a 5year-old boy with central idiopathic precocity who had midpubertal development and a bone age of 13 years. The upper panel shows his overnight pulsatile LH secretion—a pattern that is typical of mid puberty. With GnRH analogue therapy (8 ug/kg SC once daily), mean LH levels were halved and pulses markedly blunted. 2 ng/ml in the first 3 months of therapy, and social behavior improved. This therapy therefore effectively institutes a temporary reversible reduction in pituitary gonadotropin secretion.

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Adolescence and puberty by John Bancroft; June Machover Reinisch
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