New insights into anti-Müllerian hormone role in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and neuroendocrine development

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2021 Jan;78(1):1-16. doi: 10.1007/s00018-020-03576-x. Epub 2020 Jun 20.


Research into the physiological actions of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) has rapidly expanded from its classical role in male sexual differentiation to the regulation of ovarian function, routine clinical use in reproductive health and potential use as a biomarker in the diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). During the past 10 years, the notion that AMH could act exclusively at gonadal levels has undergone another paradigm shift as several exciting studies reported unforeseen AMH actions throughout the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal (HPG) axis. In this review, we will focus on these findings reporting novel AMH actions across the HPG axis and we will discuss their potential impact and significance to better understand human reproductive disorders characterized by either developmental alterations of neuroendocrine circuits regulating fertility and/or alterations of their function in adult life. Finally, we will summarize recent preclinical studies suggesting that elevated levels of AMH may potentially be a contributing factor to the central pathophysiology of PCOS and other reproductive diseases.

Keywords: AMH; CHH; Fertility; GnRH; PCOS.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gonads / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism*
  • Neurosecretory Systems / growth & development
  • Neurosecretory Systems / metabolism
  • Pituitary Gland / metabolism*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / metabolism
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / pathology
  • Reproduction
  • Signal Transduction


  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone