Development and regulation of growth and differentiated function in human and subhuman primate fetal gonads

Jaron Rabinovici, Robert B. Jaffe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Maturation and differentiation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis continues throughout childhood, puberty, adult life, and senescence. However, the foundation for normal puberty and adult reproductive function is established during fetal life. Studies of primate fetal endocrinology have indicated that the endocrine system is one of the earliest, if not the earliest, system to develop. This is particularly true for intrauterine gonadal development that is crucial for normal sexual development, which, if impaired, may result in irreparable loss of germ cells, endocrine function, and reproductive potential. An understanding of the mechanisms necessary for normal fetal gonadal development, therefore, is a prerequisite to a rational approach to the management of inadequate gonadal development, whether secondary to endogenous or exogenous factors. Over the past few years, the increasing recognition of factors that regulate gonadal paracrine and autocrine function, as well as the emerging application of molecular biological techniques, have provided new insight into previously unanswered questions of fetal growth and development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-557
Number of pages26
JournalEndocrine Reviews
Volume11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1990
Externally publishedYes

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