Fetal programming of sexual development and reproductive function

Elena Zambrano, Carolina Guzmán, Guadalupe L. Rodríguez-González, Marta Durand-Carbajal, Peter W. Nathanielsz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


The recent growth of interest in developmental programming of physiological systems has generally focused on the cardiovascular system (especially hypertension) and predisposition to metabolic dysfunction (mainly obesity and diabetes). However, it is now clear that the full range of altered offspring phenotypes includes impaired reproductive function. In rats, sheep and nonhuman primates, reproductive capacity is altered by challenges experienced during critical periods of development. This review will examine available experimental evidence across commonly studied experimental species for developmental programming of female and male reproductive function throughout an individual's life-course. It is necessary to consider events that occur during fetal development, early neonatal life and prior to and during puberty, during active reproductive life and aging as reproductive performance declines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)538-549
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 25 2014


  • Fetal
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Maternal obesity
  • Maternal undernutrition
  • Neonatal
  • Sex steroids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


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