Minireview: kisspeptin/neurokinin B/dynorphin (KNDy) cells of the arcuate nucleus: a central node in the control of gonadotropin-releasing hormone secretion

Endocrinology. 2010 Aug;151(8):3479-89. doi: 10.1210/en.2010-0022. Epub 2010 May 25.


Recently, a subset of neurons was identified in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus that colocalize three neuropeptides, kisspeptin, neurokinin B, and dynorphin, each of which has been shown to play a critical role in the central control of reproduction. Growing evidence suggests that these neurons, abbreviated as the KNDy subpopulation, are strongly conserved across a range of species from rodents to humans and play a key role in the physiological regulation of GnRH neurons. KNDy cells are a major target for steroid hormones, form a reciprocally interconnected network, and have direct projections to GnRH cell bodies and terminals, features that position them well to convey steroid feedback control to GnRH neurons and potentially serve as a component of the GnRH pulse generator. In addition, recent work suggests that alterations in KNDy cell peptides may underlie neuroendocrine defects seen in clinical reproductive disorders such as polycystic ovarian syndrome. Taken together, this evidence suggests a key role for the KNDy subpopulation as a focal point in the control of reproductive function in health and disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arcuate Nucleus of Hypothalamus / cytology
  • Arcuate Nucleus of Hypothalamus / metabolism*
  • Arcuate Nucleus of Hypothalamus / physiology*
  • Dynorphins / metabolism*
  • Feedback, Physiological / drug effects
  • Feedback, Physiological / physiology
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / pharmacology
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Kisspeptins
  • Models, Biological
  • Neurokinin B / metabolism*
  • Periodicity
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / metabolism*


  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • KISS1 protein, human
  • Kisspeptins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Dynorphins
  • Neurokinin B