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Błażej Męczekalski, Alina Warenik-Szymankiewicz
Med Sci Monit 1999; 5(6): RA1268-1279
Hypothalamus is a central link in the regulation of reproductive functions. The key role is played by pulsatile secretion of GnRH from arcuate nucleus of hypothalamus characterised by normal frequency and amplitude of pulses. Recently, special attention has been paid to certain aspects concerning the regulation of sexual and reproductive functions or to the functions at the level of central nervous system, mainly at the level of hypothalamus, which are indirectly related to reproduction. These aspects include: neuroendocrine properties of steroids, relationships between immune system and reproductive system, the effect of stress on reproduction, relationships between metabolic status of the body and reproductive functions. The present work is devoted to the discussion of contemporary opinions on hypothalamic-pituitary regulation of reproductive functions with special reference to the aspects listed above. The article is based on the presentation of selected neuromodulators, which seem to play a significant role in this respect, and whose function is not fully established. Some of the mechanisms of the action of modulators presented in our work are based only on animal experimental studies or on few clinical trials.