The Role of Kisspeptins and GPR54 in the Neuroendocrine Regulation of Reproduction

Annu Rev Physiol. 2008;70:213-38. doi: 10.1146/annurev.physiol.70.113006.100540.


Neurons that produce gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) reside in the basal forebrain and drive reproductive function in mammals. Understanding the circuitry that regulates GnRH neurons is fundamental to comprehending the neuroendocrine control of puberty and reproduction in the adult. This review focuses on a family of neuropeptides encoded by the Kiss1 gene, the kisspeptins, and their cognate receptor, GPR54, which have been implicated in the regulation of GnRH secretion. Kisspeptins are potent secretagogues for GnRH, and the Kiss1 gene is a target for regulation by gonadal steroids (e.g., estradiol and testosterone), metabolic factors (e.g., leptin), photoperiod, and season. Kiss1 neurons in the arcuate nucleus may regulate the negative feedback effect of gonadal steroids on GnRH and gonadotropin secretion in both sexes. The expression of Kiss1 in the anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPV) is sexually dimorphic, and Kiss1 neurons in the AVPV may participate in the generation of the preovulatory GnRH/luteinizing hormone (LH) surge in the female rodent. Kiss1 neurons have emerged as primary transducers of internal and environmental cues to regulate the neuroendocrine reproductive axis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Kisspeptins
  • Neurosecretory Systems / physiology*
  • Proteins / physiology
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / physiology*
  • Receptors, Kisspeptin-1
  • Reproduction / physiology*
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / physiology*


  • KISS1 protein, human
  • KISS1R protein, human
  • Kiss1 protein, mouse
  • Kiss1 protein, rat
  • Kiss1r protein, mouse
  • Kiss1r protein, rat
  • Kisspeptins
  • Proteins
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Receptors, Kisspeptin-1
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins