The Kiss1 gene encodes a family of neuropeptides called kisspeptins, which activate the receptor G protein-coupled receptor-54 and play a role in the neuroendocrine regulation of GnRH secretion. We examined whether estradiol (E2) regulates KiSS-1 in the forebrain of the female mouse by comparing KiSS-1 mRNA expression among groups of ovary-intact (diestrus), ovariectomized (OVX), and OVX plus E2-treated mice. In the arcuate nucleus (Arc), KiSS-1 expression increased after ovariectomy and decreased with E2 treatment. Conversely, in the anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPV), KiSS-1 expression was reduced after ovariectomy and increased with E2 treatment. To determine whether the effects of E2 on KiSS-1 are mediated through estrogen receptor (ER)alpha or ERbeta, we evaluated the effects of E2 in OVX mice that lacked functional ERalpha or ERbeta. In OVX mice that lacked functional ERalpha, KiSS-1 mRNA did not respond to E2 in either the Arc or AVPV, suggesting that ERalpha is essential for mediating the inhibitory and stimulatory effects of E2. In contrast, KiSS-1 mRNA in OVX mice that lacked functional ERbeta responded to E2 exactly as wild-type animals. Double-label in situ hybridization revealed that virtually all KiSS-1-expressing neurons in the Arc and AVPV coexpress ERalpha, suggesting that the effects of E2 are mediated directly through KiSS-1 neurons. We conclude that KiSS-1 neurons in the Arc, which are inhibited by E2, may play a role in the negative feedback regulation of GnRH secretion, whereas KiSS-1 neurons in the AVPV, which are stimulated by E2, may participate in the positive feedback regulation of GnRH secretion.