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New OHSU research helps explain early-onset puberty in females
Date:1/29/2013

therapy approach so that Kiss1 activation failed to occur at the normal time in life. The hypothalamus is a region of the brain that controls reproductive development.

"While it was always understood that an organism's genes determine the timing of puberty, the role of epigenetics in this process has never been recorded until now," said Alejandro Lomniczi, Ph.D., a scientist in the Division of Neuroscience at the OHSU Oregon National Primate Research Center.

"Because epigenetic changes are driven by environmental, metabolic and cell-to-cell influences, these findings raise the possibility that a significant percentage of precocious and delayed puberty cases occurring in humans may be the result of environmental factors and other alterations in epigenetic control," said Sergio Ojeda, D.V.M, who is also a scientist in the Division of Neuroscience at the OHSU ONPRC.

"There is also much more to be learned about the way that epigenetic factors may link environmental factors such as nutrition, man-made chemicals, social interactions and other day-today influences to the timing and completion of normal puberty."


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Contact: Jim Newman
newmanj@ohsu.edu
503-494-8231
Oregon Health & Science University
Source:Eurekalert

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