What is it about?

The neuroendocrine system enables the brain to regulate the hormonal activities of the body including those related to reproduction, growth, metabolism and behavior. Although this system can generate a rich variety of dynamical behaviors in health and disease including limit cycle and chaotic oscillations, it is the pulsatility of hormonal release which attracted the most attention. From a mathematical point of view, an important issue is how to incorporate the discrete pulsatile nature of hypothalamic hormone release into models of neuroendocrine control formulated in terms of continuous differential equations. Here we show that realistic hormonal profiles can be generated by a simple mathematical model.

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Why is it important?

Our model is mathematically parsimonious, however its dynamics is realistic. This enables to gain insights into the biological mechanisms which generate the dynamics. We anticipate that investigations into the properties of impulsive functional differential equations such as we have introduced here will prove invaluable for bringing the therapeutic approaches to the bedside. In particular, our modeling approach can be used to examine the specific dynamic properties and differences between the human reproductive system, the cortisol system and the growth hormone system. All these systems are characterized by a different number of identifiable parameters which can be found on a specific individual level. Thus precise comparisons between theory and observation may be possible.

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This page is a summary of: An integrate-and-fire model for pulsatility in the neuroendocrine system, Chaos An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, August 2020, American Institute of Physics, DOI: 10.1063/5.0010553.
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