Publications

Steroid Hormones and Their Action in Women’s Brains: The Importance of Hormonal Balance

Author: Del Río J.P., Alliende M.I., Molina N., Serrano F.G., Molina S. and Vigil P. (2018)

Abstract/Summary

Sex hormones significantly impact women’s lives. Throughout the different stages of life, from menarche to menopause and all stages in between, women experience dramatic fluctuations in the levels of progesterone and estradiol, among other hormones. These fluctuations affect the body as a whole, including the central nervous system (CNS). In the CNS, sex hormones act via steroid receptors. They also have an effect on different neurotransmitters such as GABA, serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate. Additionally, studies show that sex hormones and their metabolites influence brain areas that regulate mood, behavior, and cognitive abilities. This review emphasizes the benefits a proper hormonal balance during the different stages of life has in the CNS. To achieve this goal, it is essential that hormone levels are evaluated considering a woman’s age and ovulatory status, so that a correct diagnosis and treatment can be made. Knowledge of steroid hormone activity in the brain will give women and health providers an important tool for improving their health and well-being.

Go to full publication

Ovulation, a sign of health, The Linacre Quarterly

Author: Vigil P., Lyon C., Flores B., Rioseco H., and Serrano F.G. (2017)

Abstract/Summary

The ovarian continuum is a process that occurs during a woman’s lifetime. It begins during intrauterine life with fertilization and ends with menopause. This process can be greatly affected by different conditions such as changes in hormonal levels and illnesses. Therefore, understanding and promoting the knowledge and use of biomarkers of ovulation in women is a key aspect to consider when evaluating their health status. The knowledge and education about the ovarian continuum should be taken into account as a powerful tool for women and medical professionals.

Go to full publication

Hormonal Abnormalities in Patients with Ovulatory Dysfunction are Associated with Changes in Mood States, IV Edition [International Workshop in Neuroendocrinology]

Author: Serrano F.G., Osorio T., and Vigil P. (2017)

Abstract/Summary

The emotional states and hormones are an interesting field of study, where the changes associated with hormones could be related with possible implications in mental health. Additionally, ovulatory dysfunctions are a single most cause disorder and infertility by changes of sexual hormones levels in women with emotional tension that conduce to a psychosocial stress. Also, recent evidence which implicate the role of hormones and depressive states in patients that use contraceptives open a windows to understand the potential role of hormone as a new field of interest to evaluate possible markers as endocrine disorders and emotional states. However, exist a reduced research of these topics to understand a possible relationship between the role of hormones and their effects in emotional states. Here, we analyzed a data bank of a group of women with ovulatory dysfunction between 13 to 36 years old to evaluate changes in hormonal levels (Prolactin, Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Estradiol and Testosterone) and a possible association with mood states by the use of 2 psychological test: POMS (Profile of Mood States) which evaluate 6 states: Tension, Depression, Anger, Vigor, Confusion and Fatigue, and as a control the use of FMPS (Frost Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale) which evaluate scales of perfectionism as concert to mistakes, pressure, order, organization, etc. As a result, we found that exist a positive correlation between levels of FSH and tension variable. Also, we found a negative correlation between estradiol with depression that is consistent with recent evidence. Additionally, the normal values considered for a population are not representative to use as a diagnostic, therefore these evidence need to be considered to future investigations. This is the first evaluation in the neuroendocrinology field that correlate moods states with hormonal level dysfunction suggesting potential implications in women health to the future.

Go to full publication

Insulin Sensitivity and Testicular Function in a Cohort of Adult Males Suspected of Being Insulin-Resistant [Frontiers in Public Health]

Author: Contreras P., Vigil P., and Salgado A.M. (2017)

Abstract/Summary

A cohort of 141 males (18-80 yo, 42.9±12.9) suspected of being Insulin Resistant (IR) was prospectively studied by determining their insulin sensitivity (Pancreatic Suppression Test, PST) and testicular function (total testosterone and SHBG). The subjects were considered IR when their Steady State Plasma Glucose (SSPG) was ≥ 150 mg/dL and Non-Insulin Resistant (NIR) when their SSPG was < 150 mg/dL; similarly, the subjects were labeled as Hypogonadal (HYPOG) when their total testosterone was ≤3.0 ng/mL and Eugonadal (EUG) when their total testosterone was > 3.0 ng/mL. Subjects n=141 IR n=94 (66.66%) NIR n=47 (33.33%) HYPOG n= 37 (26,24%) 30 7 EUG n=104 (73.76%) 64 40 Chi-square was 4.69 and p was 0.0303, indicating a significant interdependence between insulin resistance and hypogonadism. Age (>43 yo) predicted hypogonadism (AUROC 0.606, p=0.0308). Neither Weight nor BMI predicted hypogonadism, while Waist Perimeter (>110 cm) was a predictor of hypogonadism (AUROC 0.640, p=0.009). SSPG (>224 mg/dL) was a significant predictor of hypogonadism (AUROC 0.709, p=0.002). Age did not predict insulin resistance, while Weight (>99 kg), BMI (>29), and specially, Waist Perimeter (> 100 cm, AUROC 0.812, p< 0.0001) were all significant predictors of insulin resistance. In conclusion, Waist Perimeter predicted both insulin resistance (> 100 cm) and hypogonadism (> 110 cm), suggesting that the first hit of abdominal obesity is insulin resistance and the second hit is male hypogonadism.

Go to full publication

Steroid Hormones and the Action in Women’s Brain [Frontiers in Public Health]

Author: Alliende I., Serrano F.G., Molina N., Del Río J.P., and Vigil P. (2017)

Abstract/Summary

Sex hormones act on steroid receptors all through the body including the nervous system at the synaptic level at which they exert their action through membrane receptors. They are produced in peripheral endocrine organs and additionally by glia and neurons in different brain areas. In this way, estrogen, progesterone and their metabolites play a role in the organization and activation of the central neural system. This role is carried out through the regulation of different neurotransmitters such as GABA, serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate. In general, estrogens enhance serotonin and dopamine neurotransmission and progesterone interacts directly through GABA receptors, all of which has been related to affective disorders, mood changes and behavior. In the present review, we analyze how hormonal fluctuations that occur during women’s life, the menstrual cycle and during certain pathological conditions (related to hormonal imbalances) influence changes in behavior, mood and mental disorders such as depression. Therefore, this review emphasizes the importance of having a hormonal balance during different life stages in order to improve mental health conditions. For this, monitoring hormonal levels according to a woman’s age and ovulatory status are essential for a correct diagnosis and treatment of behavioral and /or mood disorders. The knowledge of the action of steroid hormones in the brain will give women and health providers and important tool for improving their health and wellbeing from menarche until menopause.

Go to full publication

The Sperm Journey from the Cervix to the Site of Fertilization; a Predetermined Encounter [Imago Homini 24: 71-82]

Author: Vigil P., Valdés-Undurraga I., Del Río J.P., and Serrano F.G. (2017)

Abstract/Summary

Sperm interact with various microenvironments, generating conditions for sperm capacitation and acrosome reaction in the right place and time. Such events are highly synchronized to ensure fertilization. This review describes and analyzes the various changes sperm experience during transport through the female genital tract: the infuence of cervical, endometrial and oviductal secretions, interaction with the epithelium, and hormonal effects on sperm. Molecules in the microenvironments with which sperm interact include hormones, neurotransmitters, and other metabolites. Physiological events of gamete membrane fusion should be considered by basic and ap- plied researchers working in reproductive biology

Go to full publication

Influence of sex steroid hormones on the adolescent brain and behavior: An update [The Linacre Quarterly, 83(3), 308-329]

Author: Pilar Vigil, Juan Pablo del Río, Ba ́rbara Carrera, Florencia C. Ara ́nguiz, Hernán Rioseco & Manuel E. Cortés (2016)

Abstract/Summary

The effect of steroid hormones on the development of the adolescent brain, and therefore, on adolescent behavior, is noticeable. This review presents their main activational and organizational effects. During the transition from puberty to adolescence, organizational phenomena triggered by steroids structurally affect the remodeling of brain circuits. Later in adulthood, these changes will be reflected in behavioral responses to such hormones. Adolescence can then be seen as a fundamental “organizational window” during which sex steroids and other hormones and com- pounds play relevant roles. The understanding of the relationship between adolescent behavior and the way hormones influence brain development help understand some psychological disorders.

Go to full publication