Kisspeptins and the control of gonadotropin secretion in male and female rodents

Peptides. 2009 Jan;30(1):57-66. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2008.08.009. Epub 2008 Aug 22.


Kisspeptins, the products of KiSS-1 gene acting via G protein-coupled receptor 54 (GPR54), have recently emerged as fundamental gatekeepers of gonadal function by virtue of their ability to stimulate gonadotropin secretion. Indeed, since the original disclosure of the reproductive facet of the KiSS-1/GPR54 system, an ever-growing number of studies have substantiated the extraordinary potency of kisspeptins to elicit gonadotropin secretion in different mammalian species, under different physiologic and experimental conditions, and through different routes of administration. In this context, studies conducted in laboratory rodents have been enormously instrumental to characterize: (i) the primary mechanisms of action of kisspeptins in the control of gonadotropin secretion; (ii) the pharmacological consequences of acute vs. continuous activation of GPR54; (iii) the roles of specific populations of kisspeptin-producing neurons at the hypothalamus in mediating the feedback effects of sex steroids; (v) the function of kisspeptins in the generation of the pre-ovulatory surge of gonadotropins; and (iv) the influence of sex steroids on GnRH/gonadotropin responsiveness to kisspeptins. While some of those aspects of kisspeptin function will be covered elsewhere in this Special Issue, we summarize herein the most salient data, obtained in laboratory rodents, that have helped to define the physiologic roles and putative pharmacological implications of kisspeptins in the control of male and female gonadotropic axis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / metabolism
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / metabolism
  • Gonadotropins / metabolism*
  • Kisspeptins
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Kisspeptin-1
  • Reproduction / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • Gonadotropins
  • Kiss1 protein, mouse
  • Kiss1r protein, mouse
  • Kisspeptins
  • Proteins
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Receptors, Kisspeptin-1
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone