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Effects of Low Energy Availability on Reproductive Functions and Their Underlying Neuroendocrine Mechanisms

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Tokushima University Graduate School, 3-18-15 Kuramoto-Cho, Tokushima 770-8503, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(7), 166;
Received: 10 June 2018 / Revised: 2 July 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Endocrinology & Metabolism)
It is known that metabolic disturbances suppress reproductive functions in females. The mechanisms underlying metabolic and nutritional effects on reproductive functions have been established based on a large body of clinical and experimental data. From the 1980s to 1990s, it was revealed that disrupted gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion is the main cause of reproductive impairments in metabolic and nutritional disorders. From the late 1990s to early 2000s, it was demonstrated that, in addition to their primary functions, some appetite- or metabolism-regulating factors affect GnRH secretion. Furthermore, in the early 2000s, kisspeptin, which is a potent positive regulator of GnRH secretion, was newly discovered, and it has been revealed that kisspeptin integrates the effects of metabolic status on GnRH neurons. Recent studies have shown that kisspeptin mediates at least some of the effects of appetite- and metabolism-regulating factors on GnRH neurons. Thus, kisspeptin might be a useful clinical target for treatments aimed at restoring reproductive functions in individuals with metabolic or nutritional disturbances, such as those who exercise excessively, experience marked weight loss, or suffer from eating disorders. This paper presents a review of what is currently known about the effects of metabolic status on reproductive functions and their underlying mechanisms by summarizing the available evidence. View Full-Text
Keywords: undernutrition; GnRH; leptin; NPY; AgRP; kisspeptin undernutrition; GnRH; leptin; NPY; AgRP; kisspeptin
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Iwasa, T.; Matsuzaki, T.; Yano, K.; Mayila, Y.; Yanagihara, R.; Yamamoto, Y.; Kuwahara, A.; Irahara, M. Effects of Low Energy Availability on Reproductive Functions and Their Underlying Neuroendocrine Mechanisms. J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7, 166.

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