Novel role for anti-Müllerian hormone in the regulation of GnRH neuron excitability and hormone secretion

Nat Commun. 2016 Jan 12:7:10055. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10055.


Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) plays crucial roles in sexual differentiation and gonadal functions. However, the possible extragonadal effects of AMH on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis remain unexplored. Here we demonstrate that a significant subset of GnRH neurons both in mice and humans express the AMH receptor, and that AMH potently activates the GnRH neuron firing in mice. Combining in vivo and in vitro experiments, we show that AMH increases GnRH-dependent LH pulsatility and secretion, supporting a central action of AMH on GnRH neurons. Increased LH pulsatility is an important pathophysiological feature in many cases of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common cause of female infertility, in which circulating AMH levels are also often elevated. However, the origin of this dysregulation remains unknown. Our findings raise the intriguing hypothesis that AMH-dependent regulation of GnRH release could be involved in the pathophysiology of fertility and could hold therapeutic potential for treating PCOS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / metabolism
  • Gene Knock-In Techniques
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamus / cytology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Luteinizing Hormone / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Peptide / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Receptors, Peptide
  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • anti-Mullerian hormone receptor
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone