The neonatal period: a critical interval in male primate development

in Journal of Endocrinology
Authors: D R Mann and H M Fraser
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Pituitary testicular function in the neonate

The early postnatal period of male primates (including humans) is associated with activation of the hypothalamicpituitary-testicular axis. Circulating levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) begin to rise in male infants during the second week of postnatal life, reach a peak between 2 and 4 months, and decline thereafter, reaching juvenile levels by 1 year of age (Forest 1990) (Fig. 1). Total testosterone levels rise commensurate with the increase in neonatal LH, reaching peak values that approach the low normal adult male range between 1 and 3 months of age, and then fall in concert with declining LH values to juvenile levels by 6 to 8 months of age (Forest 1990). Comparable patterns of neonatal endocrine changes have been reported in the chimpanzee, rhesus monkey, cynomolgus monkey, mangabey and marmoset (Steiner & Bremner 1981, Fuller et al. 1982, Mann et al. 1983,


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