Regulation of hypothalamic expression of KiSS-1 and GPR54 genes by metabolic factors: analyses using mouse models and a cell line

Endocrinology. 2007 Oct;148(10):4601-11. doi: 10.1210/en.2007-0500. Epub 2007 Jun 26.


It is well established that reproductive function is metabolically gated. However, the mechanisms whereby energy stores and metabolic cues influence fertility are yet to be completely deciphered. Recently, the hypothalamic KiSS-1/GPR54 system has emerged as a fundamental regulator of the gonadotropic axis, which conveys the modulatory actions of sex steroids to GnRH neurons. Evidence is also mounting that KiSS-1 neurons may also represent the link between systemic metabolic signals and central control of reproduction. To further explore this possibility, we examined the impact of changes in energy status and key metabolic regulators on the hypothalamic expression of KiSS-1 and GPR54 genes, using different mouse models and the hypothalamic cell line N6. Time-course analysis of the effects of short-term fasting revealed a rapid (12- and 24-h) decline in KiSS-1 and GPR54 mRNA levels, which preceded that of GnRH (48 h). In contrast, diet-induced obesity or obesity associated with leptin deficiency (ob/ob vs. wild-type mice) failed to induce overt changes in hypothalamic expression of KiSS-1 and GPR54 genes. However, leptin infusion of ob/ob mice evoked a significant increase in KiSS-1 and GPR54 mRNA levels compared with pair-fed controls. Moreover, leptin, but not insulin or IGF-I, stimulated KiSS-1 mRNA expression in the mouse hypothalamic cell line N6. In addition, neuropeptide Y (NPY) null mice showed decreased KiSS-1 mRNA levels at the hypothalamus, whereas exposure to NPY increased expression of KiSS-1 in hypothalamic N6 cells. In sum, our present data further characterize the functional relevance and putative key mediators (such as leptin and NPY) of the metabolic regulation of the hypothalamic KiSS-1 system in the mouse.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Diet
  • Fasting / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / genetics
  • Hypothalamus / cytology
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism*
  • Kisspeptins
  • Leptin / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Obese
  • Neuropeptide Y / deficiency
  • Neuropeptide Y / pharmacology*
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics*
  • Receptors, Kisspeptin-1


  • Kiss1 protein, mouse
  • Kiss1r protein, mouse
  • Kisspeptins
  • Leptin
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Receptors, Kisspeptin-1
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone