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The median eminence at the base of the hypothalamus serves as an interface between the neural and peripheral endocrine systems. It releases hypothalamic-releasing hormones into the portal capillary bed for transport to the anterior pituitary, which provides further signals to target endocrine systems. Of specific relevance to reproduction, a group of about 1000 neurons in mammals release the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) peptide from neuroterminals in the median eminence. During the life cycle, there are dramatic changes in reproductive demands, and we focus this review on how GnRH terminals in the median eminence change during reproductive senescence. We discuss morphological and functional properties of the median eminence, and how relationships among GnRH terminals and their microenvironment of nerve terminals, glial cells, and the portal capillary vasculature determine the ability of GnRH peptide to be secreted and to reach its target in the anterior pituitary gland.


Weiling Yin, Andrea C Gore. The hypothalamic median eminence and its role in reproductive aging. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2010 Aug;1204:113-22

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PMID: 20738281

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