The neural basis of puberty and adolescence

  title={The neural basis of puberty and adolescence},
  author={Cheryl L. Sisk and Douglas L. Foster},
  journal={Nature Neuroscience},
The pubertal transition to adulthood involves both gonadal and behavioral maturation. A developmental clock, along with permissive signals that provide information on somatic growth, energy balance and season, time the awakening of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons at the onset of puberty. High-frequency GnRH release results from disinhibition and activation of GnRH neurons at puberty onset, leading to gametogenesis and an increase in gonadal steroid hormone secretion. Steroid… 

Pubertal hormones organize the adolescent brain and behavior

Puberty, a sensitive window of hypothalamic development and plasticity.

The aim of this review is to outline the current knowledge of the major changes that neurons secreting GnRH and their neuronal and glial partners undergo before and after puberty.

Maturation of the adolescent brain

Several factors, including age, sex, disease, nutritional status, and substance abuse have a significant impact on the maturation of the adolescent brain, and the influence of these clinically significant and socially important aspects are highlighted.

Emerging Genetic and Epigenetic Mechanisms Underlying Pubertal Maturation in Adolescence

The latest knowledge in neuroendocrine pubertal research is reviewed with emphasis on genetic and epigenetic mechanisms underlying the Pubertal transition.

Sexual experience and testosterone during adolescence alter adult neuronal morphology and behavior

New insights into the neurobiology of sexual maturation

The purpose of this commentary is to review the growing body of evidence that gonadal steroid hormones, acting in the brain during puberty and adolescence, sculpt neural circuits to program the expression of sexual behavior in adulthood.



Leptin and pubertal development.

The balance of current evidence appears to support the idea that, in both rodents and primates, leptin plays a permissive rather than a causal role in timing this process, and pubertal development may proceed if, and only if, other critical control mechanisms are operational.

Puberty: A Finishing School for Male Social Behavior

It is shown that adult‐typical reproductive and flank marking behaviors cannot be activated by gonadal steroids in male Syrian hamsters prior to puberty, suggesting that developmentally timed processes during puberty render the nervous system responsive to activating effects of gonadal steroid effects in adulthood.

Glia-to-neuron signaling and the neuroendocrine control of female puberty

The sine qua non event of puberty is an increase in pulsatile release of gonadotrophin hormone releasing hormone (GnRH). It is now clear that this increase and, therefore, the initiation of the

Neurobiological mechanisms of the onset of puberty in primates.

Developmental changes in several neurotransmitter systems controlling pulsatile LHRH release are extensively reviewed and it appears that the reduction in tonic GABA inhibition allows an increase in the release of glutamate as well as other neurotransmitters, which contributes to the increase in pubertal L HRH release.

Glial Ensheathment of GnRH Neurons in Pubertal Female Rhesus Macaques

The density of synaptic input to GnRH neurons in the pubertal animals did not differ significantly from that of adult intact or ovariectomized animals from a previous study, and chemical identification will be required to determine whether there are age or hormonal differences in the innervation of these neurons.

The adolescent brain and age-related behavioral manifestations

  • L. Spear
  • Psychology, Biology
    Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews
  • 2000

Developmental time course of pubertal and photoperiodic changes in testosterone negative feedback on gonadotropin secretion in the golden hamster.

This study examined the developmental time course of opposing pubertal and photoperiodic neuroendocrine changes in golden hamsters to study the relationship between gonadal function and sensitivity to steroid negative feedback effects.

The neurobiology of reproductive development

Some of the major advances in the last decade or so in understanding the central control of puberty are highlighted, including the discovery that GnRH-I neurons develop in the olfactory placode and migrate into the forebrain, and the discovery of other populations of GnRH neurons in mammals expressing the Gn RH-II gene.