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Development of GABA and glutamate signaling at the GnRH neuron in relation to puberty

Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.mce.2006.04.036
  • Gaba
  • Gnrh
  • Lhrh
  • Puberty
  • Glutamate
  • Nmda
  • Biology


Abstract The gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons represent the critical cell type activated to induce puberty in mammals. However, the mechanisms underlying their activation remain unclear. As the principal amino acid neurotransmitters in the brain, GABA and glutamate are known to have critical roles in the development of neuronal networks. This review provides an update on what is known about GABA and glutamate signaling at the GnRH neuron across development. An examination of morphological, receptor subunit expression, and electrophysiological data suggest that GABA A receptor signaling develops in advance of glutamatergic signaling. However, compared with other networks, the switch from GABA A receptor depolarization to hyperpolarization of GnRH neurons is delayed until the time of puberty. These observations suggest that developing GnRH neurons exhibit a sequence of GABA → glutamate signaling similar to that of other neuronal networks but that it is significantly elongated so as to only be complete by the time of puberty onset.

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