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Untangling PCOS: Understanding androgen excess and the female brain

64 months
Approved budget:
Professor Rebecca Campbell
Health issue:
Metabolic and endocrine (excl. diabetes and bone)
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Female androgen excess is a cardinal feature of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a prevalent endocrine disorder associated with infertility and a multitude of poor health outcomes. Our current knowledge of androgen signalling in females is sorely lacking and very little is understood about the potentially critical role that androgen actions have in the female brain. New evidence in preclinical models of PCOS implicate central androgen signalling in both the development and the pathophysiological consequences of PCOS. The present programme of biomedical work will define androgen actions in the brain and body throughout female development using powerful neurosciences tools. We will also determine the impact of blocking androgen actions, in both animal models and women, in ameliorating PCOS features. The outcomes of this programme will ultimately provide valuable new knowledge on the forefront of basic research aimed at understanding PCOS and steroid hormone signalling in the female brain.