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Effects of sex steroid hormones on the neuroendocrine system

By A. R. Genazzani, A. Lucchesi, M. Stomati, S. Catarsi, Alessandro Genazzani, M. Criscuolo and F. Petraglia


Estrogen and progesterone are the most important ovarian steroid hormones regulating female fertility. They have a profound effect on the central nervous system. Target functions of sex steroids in the brain are: pituitary and hypothalamic hormone release, thermoregulatory and cardiocirculatory activities and behavior and mood changes. Furthermore, several studies have shown a correlation between brain neurotransmitters, neuropeptides and sex steroid hormones: they influence synthesis and release of norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, gonadotropin releasing hormone, \u3b2-endorphin, corticotropin releasing factor and prolactin. Thus, oral hormone contraceptives inhibit the ovulatory process by blocking the activity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis. This inhibitory effect seems to be due to the action of both estrogens and progestins

Topics: Adrenocorticotropic hormone, Catecholamines, Estrogen, Gonadotropin releasing hormone, Opioid peptides, Progesterone, Progestin, Prolactin, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Year: 1997
DOI identifier: 10.1080/13625189709049935
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