It is known that hypothyroidism delays puberty in mammals. Interaction between the hypothalamo-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) and hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axes may be important processes in delayed puberty. Gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH) is a newly discovered hypothalamic neuropeptide that inhibits gonadotropin synthesis and release in quail. It now appears that GnIH is conserved across various mammals and primates, including humans, and inhibits reproduction. We have further demonstrated that GnIH is involved in pubertal delay induced by thyroid dysfunction in female mice. Hypothyroidism delays pubertal onset with the increase in hypothalamic GnIH expression and the decrease in circulating gonadotropin and estradiol levels. Thyroid status regulates GnIH expression by epigenetic modification of the GnIH promoter region. Furthermore, knockout of GnIH gene abolishes the effect of hypothyroidism on delayed pubertal onset. Accordingly, it is considered that GnIH is a mediator of pubertal disorder induced by thyroid dysfunction. This is a novel function of GnIH that interacts between the HPT-HPG axes in pubertal onset delay. This mini-review summarizes the structure, expression, and function of GnIH and highlights the action of GnIH in pubertal disorder induced by thyroid dysfunction.
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