Hypothalamic KiSS-1 gene expression is critical for the maintenance of reproductive function, and levels are attenuated by sex hormones and by food restriction, providing a link between fat mass and fertility. We hypothesized that adipose tissue (FAT) would express KiSS-1. KiSS-1 mRNA was quantified in FAT, hypothalamus (HYP) and pituitary gland (PIT) using realtime RT-PCR. FAT KiSS-1 expression was sensitive to sex steroids and to nutritional status. Gonadectomized rats given estradiol (E; females) or testosterone (T; males) revealed striking increases in KiSS-1 mRNA in FAT (E: 8-fold, p<0.01; T: 5-fold, p<0.01). In contrast, HYP KiSS-1 expression was reduced by E/T, whereas PIT expression was reduced by gonadectomy only in females, reversed by E. Food restriction (18 h) increased FAT KiSS-1 mRNA in both sexes (2.5-4.0-fold, p<0.01), but decreased levels in male PIT and female HYP. Conversely, FAT expression was reduced in rats fed a high fat diet (HFD), as well as in obese Zucker rats, whereas PIT expression was increased in Zucker rats (p<0.05) but not by HFD. In contrast HYP KiSS-1 mRNA was elevated by HFD. Experiments in which the arcuate nucleus was damaged by an excitotoxic lesion revealed that hypothalamic KiSS-1 mRNA was significantly reduced, whereas FAT levels were unaffected, suggesting that regulation of KiSS-1 in FAT is independent of the hypothalamus. In conclusion, KiSS-1 expression is differentially regulated by sex hormones, food intake and obesity in FAT, HYP and PIT. Kisspeptins of adipose tissue origin may act as adipokines or as local regulators of adipocyte function.