Ageing-related changes of the hypothalamic neurocircuitry regulating human reproduction


Results of recent immunohistochemical studies from our laboratory revealed conspicuous species differences of the peptidergic neurotransmitter systems regulating fertility. Understanding the regulation and disturbances of the human menstrual cycle is impossible without studying specifically the human brain. Our laboratory has recently established a unique infrastructure which enables us to use multidisciplinary approaches in studies of endocrine, metabolic and autonomic regulatory mechanisms acting in the human hypothalamus. After menopause when serum estrogen levels fall, the altered functioning of mediobasal hypothalamic kisspeptin and neurokinin B neurons accounts for postmenopausal hot flushes occurring in ~73% of women. Anxiety, depression and weight gain represent other common unwanted consequences of menopause that are related to the dysfunction of kisspeptin and neurokinin B neuronal systems. To characterize menopausal changes of these peptidergic neurons, this research program uses high-throughput RNA-Seq studies of human kisspeptin and neurokinin B neurons isolated from the human hypothalamus with laser capture microdissection (LCM). 

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