Table of Contents
ISRN Veterinary Science
Volume 2012, Article ID 121389, 13 pages
Review Article

Integrative Control of Energy Balance and Reproduction in Females

Physiology Department (Animal Physiology), Complutense University, Avenida Puerta de Hierro S/N, 28040 Madrid, Spain

Received 16 August 2012; Accepted 4 September 2012

Academic Editors: K.-P. Brüssow, J. F. Hocquette, and A. Shamay

Copyright © 2012 R. M. Garcia-Garcia. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There is a strong association between nutrition and reproduction. Chronic dietary energy deficits as well as energy surpluses can impair reproductive capacity. Metabolic status impacts reproductive function at systemic level, modulating the hypothalamic GnRH neuronal network and/or the pituitary gonadotropin secretion through several hormones and neuropeptides, and at the ovarian level, acting through the regulation of follicle growth and steroidogenesis by means of the growth hormone-IGF-insulin system and local ovarian mediators. In the past years, several hormones and neuropeptides have been emerging as important mediators between energy balance and reproduction. The present review goes over the main sites implicated in the control of energy balance linked to reproductive success and summarizes the most important metabolic and neuroendocrine signals that participate in reproductive events with special emphasis on the role of recently discovered neuroendocrine peptides. Also, a little overview about the effects of maternal nutrition, affecting offspring reproduction, has been presented.