Journal of Endocrinology

 Influences of manganese on pubertal development

The onset of puberty is the result of complex neuroendocrine interactions within hypothalamic region of the brain, as well as from genetic and environmental influences. These interactions ultimately result in the increased synthesis and release of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH). Manganese (Mn) is an essential environmental element known for years to be involved in numerous mammalian physiological processes, including growth and reproductive function. Studies in recent years have shown the ability of Mn to cross the blood–brain barrier and act within the hypothalamus to influence the timing of puberty. This review will depict research showing the molecular and physiological actions of Mn in the control of prepubertal LHRH and discuss the potential for the element to cause either helpful or harmful outcomes on the developmental process depending upon the age and accumulation of Mn within the hypothalamus.