The French National Centre for Scientific Research

Neuroendocrine Rhythms of Reproduction

Team leader: Valérie Simonneaux

The Neuroendocrine Rhythm in Reproduction team studies the nervous and endocrine mechanisms that control the different rhythms associated with mammalian reproductive activity.

A very large number of biological systems, from cellular activity to physiological functions, present recurring daily and seasonal rhythms which allow the anticipation and adaptation of organisms to changes in their environment. The team’s research projects focus in particular on the role of neuropeptides in the RF-amide, kisspeptin and RFRP3 families:

1) in the control of ovarian rhythms of female mammals (menstrual in humans, estral in rodents) and particularly the occurrence of the preovulatory LH peak at the interface of rest and activity periods (Simonneaux and Piet, 2018). Simonneaux et al., 2017; Beymer et al., 2016; Simonneaux and Bahougne, 2015 for reviews)

2) in the control of the annual rhythms of reproduction, whether they are regulated by the seasons via melatonin, by long-term endogenous phenomena such as the circannual clock, or during gestation by a phenomenon of maternal photoperiodic programming (Henningsen et al., 2016, Hazlerigg et al., 2014, Simonneaux et al., 2013 for reviews).

Team projects


Researchers / Professors / Assistant Professors

Valérie Simonneaux
(Senior researcher)
Thibault Bahougne
(university hospital practitioner)
Béatrice Bothorel
François Gauer
Nathalie Jeandidier
(University professor, hospital practitioner)
Paul Klosen
(Associate professor)

Ph.D. students

Emma Grosjean
Vebjørn Melum
Marie-Azélie Moralia
Louise Sicot
Marine Simonneaux

Engineers / Technicians

Aurélia Ces
(engineer assistant)
Vincent-Joseph Poirel

Selected publications

Ainani H, Chhaibi H, Achaâban MR, Piro M, Ouassat M, Tibary A, El Allali K, Simonneaux V (2022). Induced-ovulation in female dromedary camel involves kisspeptin neuron activation by β nerve growth factor. Biol Reprod 107(6):1490-15022022

Dardente H, Simonneaux V (2022). GnRH and the photoperiodic control of seasonal reproduction: Delegating the task to kisspeptin and RFRP-3. J Neuroendocrinol 34(5):e13124

Moralia MA, Quignon C, Simonneaux M, Simonneaux V (2022). Environmental disruption of reproductive rhythms. Front Neuroendocrinol 66:100990.

Simonneaux V (2018) A Kiss to drive rhythms in reproduction. Eur J Neurosci doi: 10.1111/ejn.14287

Quignon C, Beymer M, Gauthier K, Gauer F, Simonneaux V (2020). Thyroid hormone receptors are required for the melatonin-dependent control of Rfrp gene expression in mice. The FASEB J 34 (9): 11313-13070

Sáenz de Miera C, Bothorel B, Jaegger C, Simonneaux V*, Hazlerigg D* (*co-last author) (2017). Maternal photoperiod programmes hypothalamic thyroid hormone action via the fetal pituitary gland. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 114(31):8408-8413.

Sáenz de Miera C, Monecke S, Bartzen-Sprauer J, Laran-Chich MP, Pévet P, Hazlerigg D, Simonneaux V (2014). A circannual clock drives expression of genes central for seasonal reproduction. Current Biology, 24(13):1500-1506

Klosen P., Sébert, ME, Laran-Chich MP, Rasri K, Simonneaux V. TSH restores a summer phenotype in photo-inhibited mammals (2013). The FASEB J 27(7):2677-2686

Revel FG, Herwig A, Garidou ML, Dardente, Menet JS, Masson-Pévet M, Simonneaux V, Saboureau M, Pévet P (2007) The circadian clock stops ticking during hibernation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:13816-13820

Revel F, Saboureau M, Masson-Pévet M, Pévet P, Mikkelsen JD, Simonneaux V (2006) Kisspeptin mediates the photoperiodic control of reproduction in hamsters. Current Biology, 16: 1730-1735


The French National Centre for Scientific Research