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    The semaphorin proteins, which contribute to the morphogenesis and homeostasis of a wide range of systems, are among the best-studied families of guidance cues. Much recent research has focused on the role of semaphorins in the development and adult activity of hormone systems and, reciprocally, how circulating reproductive hormones regulate their expression and function. Specifically, several reports have focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of semaphorins on the migration, survival and structural and functional plasticity of neurons that secrete gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), essential for the acquisition and maintenance of reproductive competence in mammals. Alterations in the development of this neuroendocrine system lead to anomalous or absent GnRH secretion, resulting in heterogeneous reproductive disorders such as congenital hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (CHH) or other conditions characterized by infertility or subfertility. This review summarizes current knowledge of the role of semaphorins and their receptors on the development, differentiation and plasticity of the GnRH system. In addition, the involvement of genetic deficits in semaphorin signaling in some forms of CHH in humans is discussed. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.


    Paolo Giacobini. Shaping the Reproductive System: Role of Semaphorins in Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Development and Function. Neuroendocrinology. 2015;102(3):200-15

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    PMID: 25967979

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