Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 313-333

The timing of puberty (oocyte quality and management)

Duittoz, A. HTillet, YBourhis, D. LeSchibler, L

This review aims at giving an overview on the physiological events leading to puberty onset in mammals and more specifically in cattle. Puberty is an important developmental milestone in mammals involving numerous changes in various physiological regulations and behaviors. It is a physiological unique event integrating several important central regulations at the crossroad of adaptation to environment: reproductive axis, feeding behavior and nutritional controls, growth, seasonal rhythm and stress. Puberty onset is also an important economic parameter in replacement heifer program and in genomic selection (genomic bulls). The quest for advanced puberty onset should be carefully balanced by its impact on physiological parameters of the animal and its offspring. Thus one has to carefully consider each step leading to puberty onset and set up a strategy that will lead to early puberty without being detrimental in the long term. In this review, major contributions in the understanding of puberty process obtained in rodents, primates and farm animals such as sheep and cattle are discussed. In the first part we will detail the endocrine events leading to puberty onset with a special focus on the regulation of GnRH secretion. In the second part we will describe the neural mechanisms involved in silencing and reactivating the GnRH neuronal network.(AU)

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