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Impact of the opioid system on the reproductive axis

Impact of the opioid system on the reproductive axis
Endogenous opioids, first described more than 40 years ago, have long been recognized for their main role as important neuromodulators within the central nervous system. More recently endogenous opioids and their receptor have been identified in a variety of reproductive and nonreproductive tissues outside the central nervous system. Their role within these tissues and organs, however, is only incompletely understood. In the central nervous system, endogenous opioids inhibit pulsatile GnRH release, in part mediating the stress response within the central nervous–pituitary gonadal axis, resulting in hypothalamic amenorrhea.

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