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


Béatrice Bothorel


François Gauer

(PU Unistra)

Paul Klosen

(MCU unistra)

PhD students

Hassan Ainani


Eleni Angelopoulou


Thibault Bahougne


Fernando Cazarez-Marquez


Vebjørn Melum

(Fonds P. Mandel)

Marie-Azélie Moralia


Clarisse Quignon


Engineers / Technicians

Vincent-Joseph Poirel


Selected publications

Saenz 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

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