Browsing by Subject "MENARCHE"

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  • Leinonen, Jaakko T.; Surakka, Ida; Havulinna, Aki S.; Kettunen, Johannes; Luoto, Riitta; Salomaa, Veikko; Widen, Elisabeth (2012)
  • Lynch, Robert; Lummaa, Virpi; Briga, Michael; Chapman, Simon; Loehr, John (2020)
    Understanding how conditions experienced during development affect reproductive timing is of considerable cross-disciplinary interest. Life-history theory predicts that organisms will accelerate reproduction when future survival is unsure. In humans, this can be triggered by early exposure to mortality. Previous studies, however, have been inconclusive due to several confounds that are also likely to affect reproduction. Here we take advantage of a natural experiment in which a population is temporarily divided by war to analyze how exposure to mortality affects reproduction. Using records of Finnish women in World War II, we find that young girls serving in a paramilitary organization wait less time to reproduce, have shorter inter-birth intervals, and have more children than their non-serving peers or sisters. These results support the hypothesis that exposure to elevated mortality rates during development can result in accelerated reproductive schedules and adds to our understanding of how participation in warfare affects women.
  • Howard, Sasha R.; Guasti, Leonardo; Poliandri, Ariel; David, Alessia; Cabrera, Claudia P.; Barnes, Michael R.; Wehkalampi, Karoliina; O'Rahilly, Stephen; Aiken, Catherine E.; Coll, Anthony P.; Ma, Marcella; Rimmington, Debra; Yeo, Giles S. H.; Dunkel, Leo (2018)
    Context: Self-limited delayed puberty (DP) is often associated with a delay in physical maturation, but although highly heritable the causal genetic factors remain elusive. Genome-wide association studies of the timing of puberty have identified multiple loci for age at menarche in females and voice break in males, particularly in pathways controlling energy balance. Objective/Main Outcome Measures: We sought to assess the contribution of rare variants in such genes to the phenotype of familial DP. Design/Patients: We performed whole-exome sequencing in 67 pedigrees (125 individuals with DP and 35 unaffected controls) from our unique cohort of familial self-limited DP. Using a whole-exome sequencing filtering pipeline one candidate gene [fat mass and obesity-associated gene (FTO)] was identified. In silico, in vitro, and mouse model studies were performed to investigate the pathogenicity of FTO variants and timing of puberty in FTO+/- mice. Results: We identified potentially pathogenic, rare variants in genes in linkage disequilibrium with genome-wide association studies of age at menarche loci in 283 genes. Of these, five genes were implicated in the control of body mass. After filtering for segregation with trait, one candidate, FTO, was retained. Two FTO variants, found in 14 affected individuals from three families, were also associated with leanness in these patients with DP. One variant (p. Leu44Val) demonstrated altered demethylation activity of the mutant protein in vitro. Fto(+/-) mice displayed a significantly delayed timing of pubertal onset (P <0.05). Conclusions: Mutations in genes implicated in body mass and timing of puberty in the general population may contribute to the pathogenesis of self-limited DP.
  • Torvik, Fartein Ask; Flato, Martin; McAdams, Tom A.; Colman, Ian; Silventoinen, Karri; Stoltenberg, Camilla (2021)
    Purpose: On average, boys have lower academic achievement than girls. We investigated whether the timing of puberty is associated with academic achievement, and whether later puberty among boys contributes to the sex difference in academic achievement. Method: Examination scores at age 16 were studied among 13,477 British twins participating in the population-based Twins Early Development Study. A pubertal development scale, a height based proxy of growth spurt, and age at menarche were used as indicators of puberty. Associations between puberty, sex, and academic achievement were estimated in phenotypic mediation models and biometric twin models. Results: Earlier puberty was associated with higher academic achievement both in boys and girls. The exception was early age at menarche in girls, which associated with lower academic achievement. More than half of the sex differences in academic achievement could be linked to sex differences in pubertal development, but part of this association appeared to be rooted in prepubertal differences. The biometric twin modelling indicated that the association between puberty and academic achievement was due to shared genetic risk factors. Genetic influences on pubertal development accounted for 7%-8% of the phenotypic variation in academic achievement. Conclusions: Pubertal maturation relates to the examination scores of boys and of girls. This can give genes related to pubertal maturation an influence on outcomes in education and beyond. Sex differences in pubertal maturation can explain parts of the sex difference in academic achievement. Grading students when they are immature may not accurately measure their academic potential. (c) 2021 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
  • Mancini, Alessandra; Howard, Sasha R.; Marelli, Federica; Cabrera, Claudia P.; Barnes, Michael R.; Sternberg, Michael J. E.; Leprovots, Morgane; Hadjidemetriou, Irene; Monti, Elena; David, Alessia; Wehkalampi, Karoliina; Oleari, Roberto; Lettieri, Antonella; Vezzoli, Valeria; Vassart, Gilbert; Cariboni, Anna; Bonomi, Marco; Garcia, Marie Isabelle; Guasti, Leonardo; Dunkel, Leo (2020)
    The initiation of puberty is driven by an upsurge in hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion. In turn, GnRH secretion upsurge depends on the development of a complex GnRH neuroendocrine network during embryonic life. Although delayed puberty (DP) affects up to 2% of the population, is highly heritable, and is associated with adverse health outcomes, the genes underlying DP remain largely unknown. We aimed to discover regulators by whole-exome sequencing of 160 individuals of 67 multigenerational families in our large, accurately phenotyped DP cohort. LGR4 was the only gene remaining after analysis that was significantly enriched for potentially pathogenic, rare variants in 6 probands, Expression analysis identified specific Lgr4 expression at the site of GnRH neuron development. LGR4 mutant proteins showed impaired Wnt/beta-catenin signaling, owing to defective protein expression, trafficking, and degradation. Mice deficient in Lgr4 had significantly delayed onset of puberty and fewer GnRH neurons compared with WT, whereas lgr4 knockdown in zebrafish embryos prevented formation and migration of GnRH neurons. Further, genetic lineage tracing showed strong Lgr4-mediated Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway activation during GnRH neuron development. In conclusion, our results show that LGR4 deficiency impairs Wnt/beta-catenin signaling with observed defects in GnRH neuron development, resulting in a DP phenotype.
  • Varimo, Tero; Huttunen, Heta; Miettinen, Paivi Johanna; Kariola, Laura; Hietamaki, Johanna; Tarkkanen, Annika; Hero, Matti; Raivio, Taneli (2017)
    Introduction: We describe the etiology, MRI findings, and growth patterns in girls who had presented with signs of precocious puberty (PP), i.e., premature breast development or early menarche. Special attention was paid to the diagnostic findings in 6- to 8-year-olds. Materials and methods: We reviewed the medical records of 149 girls (aged 0.710.3 years) who had been evaluated for PP in the Helsinki University Hospital between 2001 and 2014. Results: In 6- to 8-year-old girls, PP was most frequently caused by idiopathic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)-dependent PP (60%) and premature thelarche (PT; 39%). The former subgroup grew faster (8.7 +/- 2.0 cm/year, n = 58) than the girls with PT (7.0 +/- 1.1 cm/year, n = 32) (P <0.001), and the best discrimination for GnRH-dependent PP was achieved with a growth velocity cut-off value of 7.0 cm/year (sensitivity 92% and specificity 58%) [area under the curve 0.82, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.730.91, P <0.001]. Among asymptomatic and previously healthy 6- to 8-year-old girls with GnRH-dependent PP, one (1.7%, 95% CI 0.39.7%) had a pathological brain MRI finding requiring surgical intervention (craniopharyngioma). In girls younger than 3 years, the most frequent cause of breast development was PT, and, in 3- to 6-year-olds, GnRH-dependent PP. Conclusion: In 6- to 8-year-old girls, analysis of growth velocity is helpful in differentiating between PT and GnRH-dependent PP. Although the frequency of clinically relevant intracranial findings in previously healthy, asymptomatic 6- to 8-year-old girls was low, they can present without any signs or symptoms, which favors routine MRI imaging also in this age group.
  • Brouckaert, Olivier; Rudolph, Anja; Laenen, Annouschka; Keeman, Renske; Bolla, Manjeet K.; Wang, Qin; Soubry, Adelheid; Wildiers, Hans; Andrulis, Irene L.; Arndt, Volker; Beckmann, Matthias W.; Benitez, Javier; Blomqvist, Carl; Bojesen, Stig E.; Brauch, Hiltrud; Brennan, Paul; Brenner, Hermann; Chenevix-Trench, Georgia; Choi, Ji-Yeob; Cornelissen, Sten; Couch, Fergus J.; Cox, Angela; Cross, Simon S.; Czene, Kamila; Eriksson, Mikael; Fasching, Peter A.; Figueroa, Jonine; Flyger, Henrik; Giles, Graham G.; Gonzalez-Neira, Anna; Guenel, Pascal; Hall, Per; Hollestelle, Antoinette; Hopper, John L.; Ito, Hidemi; Jones, Michael; Kang, Daehee; Knight, Julia A.; Kosma, Veli-Matti; Li, Jingmei; Lindblom, Annika; Lilyquist, Jenna; Lophatananon, Artitaya; Mannermaa, Arto; Manoukian, Siranoush; Margolin, Sara; Matsuo, Keitaro; Muir, Kenneth; Nevanlinna, Heli; Peterlongo, Paolo; KConFab (2017)
    Background: Previous studies have shown that reproductive factors are differentially associated with breast cancer (BC) risk by subtypes. The aim of this study was to investigate associations between reproductive factors and BC subtypes, and whether these vary by age at diagnosis. Methods: We used pooled data on tumor markers (estrogen and progesterone receptor, human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2)) and reproductive risk factors (parity, age at first full-time pregnancy (FFTP) and age at menarche) from 28,095 patients with invasive BC from 34 studies participating in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC). In a case-only analysis, we used logistic regression to assess associations between reproductive factors and BC subtype compared to luminal A tumors as a reference. The interaction between age and parity in BC subtype risk was also tested, across all ages and, because age was modeled non-linearly, specifically at ages 35, 55 and 75 years. Results: Parous women were more likely to be diagnosed with triple negative BC (TNBC) than with luminal A BC, irrespective of age (OR for parity = 1.38, 95% CI 1.16-1.65, p = 0.0004; p for interaction with age = 0.076). Parous women were also more likely to be diagnosed with luminal and non-luminal HER2-like BCs and this effect was slightly more pronounced at an early age (p for interaction with age = 0.037 and 0. 030, respectively). For instance, women diagnosed at age 35 were 1.48 (CI 1.01-2.16) more likely to have luminal HER2-like BC than luminal A BC, while this association was not significant at age 75 (OR = 0.72, CI 0.45-1.14). While age at menarche was not significantly associated with BC subtype, increasing age at FFTP was non-linearly associated with TNBC relative to luminal A BC. An age at FFTP of 25 versus 20 years lowered the risk for TNBC (OR = 0.78, CI 0.70-0.88, p <0.0001), but this effect was not apparent at a later FFTP. Conclusions: Our main findings suggest that parity is associated with TNBC across all ages at BC diagnosis, whereas the association with luminal HER2-like BC was present only for early onset BC.
  • Silventoinen, Karri; Jelenkovic, Aline; Palviainen, Teemu; Dunkel, Leo; Kaprio, Jaakko (2022)
    We analyzed the contribution of genetic factors on the association between puberty timing and body mass index (BMI) using longitudinal data and two approaches: (i) genetic twin design and (ii) polygenic scores (PGS) of obesity indices. Our data were derived from Finnish cohorts: 9080 twins had information on puberty timing and BMI and 2468 twins also had genetic data. Early puberty timing was moderately associated with higher BMI in childhood in both boys and girls; in adulthood these correlations were weaker and largely disappeared after adjusting for childhood BMI. The largest proportion of these correlations was attributable to genetic factors. The higher PGSs of BMI and waist circumference were associated with earlier timing of puberty in girls, whereas weaker associations were found in boys. Early puberty is not an independent risk factor for adult obesity but rather reflects the association between puberty timing and childhood BMI contributed by genetic predisposition.
  • Kurko, Johanna; Debes, Paul V.; House, Andrew H.; Aykanat, Tutku; Erkinaro, Jaakko; Primmer, Craig R. (2020)
    Despite recent taxonomic diversification in studies linking genotype with phenotype, follow-up studies aimed at understanding the molecular processes of such genotype-phenotype associations remain rare. The age at which an individual reaches sexual maturity is an important fitness trait in many wild species. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating maturation timing processes remain obscure. A recent genome-wide association study in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) identified large-effect age-at-maturity-associated chromosomal regions including genes vgll3, akap11 and six6, which have roles in adipogenesis, spermatogenesis and the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis, respectively. Here, we determine expression patterns of these genes during salmon development and their potential molecular partners and pathways. Using Nanostring transcription profiling technology, we show development- and tissue-specific mRNA expression patterns for vgll3, akap11 and six6. Correlated expression levels of vgll3 and akap11, which have adjacent chromosomal location, suggests they may have shared regulation. Further, vgll3 correlating with arhgap6 and yap1, and akap11 with lats1 and yap1 suggests that Vgll3 and Akap11 take part in actin cytoskeleton regulation. Tissue-specific expression results indicate that vgll3 and akap11 paralogs have sex-dependent expression patterns in gonads. Moreover, six6 correlating with slc38a6 and rtn1, and Hippo signaling genes suggests that Six6 could have a broader role in the HPG neuroendrocrine and cell fate commitment regulation, respectively. We conclude that Vgll3, Akap11 and Six6 may influence Atlantic salmon maturation timing via affecting adipogenesis and gametogenesis by regulating cell fate commitment and the HPG axis. These results may help to unravel general molecular mechanisms behind maturation.