Neuroendocrine Aging: Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal Axis in Women

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Menopause constitutes one of the most dramatic and consistent aging changes in humans. The hallmark of reproductive aging is degeneration of ovarian follicles, which accelerates during the fourth decade of life. The earliest hormone marker of reproductive aging is elevated serum follicle-stimulating hormone, which is inversely correlated with inhibin B secretion from developing follicles. A prolonged menopausal transition, characterized by irregular cycles and fluctuating hormone levels, is followed by the cessation of reproductive cycles. In the postmenopausal period, the reproductive neuroendocrine axis is strongly influenced by the withdrawal of the negative feedback effects of ovarian hormones. In addition, there is evidence of aging of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis in women that is independent from the changes in gonadal status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Neuroscience
PublisherElsevier Ltd.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9780080450469
StatePublished - 2009


  • Estrogen
  • FSH
  • GnRH
  • Gonadal feedback
  • Hypothalamus
  • Inhibin
  • LH
  • Menopause
  • Neuroendocrine
  • Neurokinin B
  • Ovary
  • Reproduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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