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New breakthrough in understanding brain-fertility link

A recent study offers important information that helps explain how the circuits in the brain affect normal fertility. The study was led by neuroscientist Allan Herbison at the University of Otago in New Zealand. The research team previously found that a small protein known as kisspeptin, and its receptor Gpr54, were vital for fertility. In this study, they found that the signaling between kisspeptin and Gpr54 occurs in a population of nerve cells in the brain called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons.

The researchers found that mice that were missing Gpr54 in their GnRH neurons didn’t undergo puberty and were infertile. However, when a Gpr54 receptor was inserted into the GnRH neurons of these “infertile” mice, their fertility was restored.

Herbison says that these important findings could have a significant impact on the future development of fertility treatments and contraceptives.

Read more about the study here.

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