Table of Contents
Advances in Biology
Volume 2014, Article ID 512650, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/512650
Review Article

Effects of the Hormone Kisspeptin on Reproductive Hormone Release in Humans

Department of Investigative Medicine, Imperial College London, London W12 ONN, UK

Received 31 March 2014; Accepted 9 July 2014; Published 5 August 2014

Academic Editor: Paul Rösch

Copyright © 2014 Joanne L. Calley and Waljit S. Dhillo. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The kisspeptins are a family of neuropeptides which act as upstream stimulators of gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons. Kisspeptin signalling is prerequisite to establishing the normal human reproductive phenotype; loss of function mutations in the KISS1 or KISS1R gene produces normosmic hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism in humans and mice, whilst increased activation of KISS1R causes precocious puberty. Administration of exogenous kisspeptin to human subjects stimulates an acute gonadotrophin rise. Serum kisspeptin levels also markedly increase during pregnancy. The identification of kisspeptin has been one of the biggest discoveries in the field of reproductive endocrinology, since the isolation and sequencing of GnRH in 1977, and has generated a novel research avenue which has received much attention over the past decade. This research has delineated many properties of the KISS1-KISS1R system, but there is still further work to do. Understanding kisspeptin’s role throughout our reproductive lifetime should help us better understand—and therefore treat—disorders of reproductive function. Promisingly, the current data supports the potential to develop kisspeptin based therapies. As an outlook article this paper focusses predominantly on our groups recent investigations into the effects of kisspeptin administration to humans and the potential therapeutic role of kisspeptin.