The Role of Kisspeptin in Female Reproduction

Int J Endocrinol Metab. 2017 Apr 22;15(3):e44337. doi: 10.5812/ijem.44337. eCollection 2017 Jul.


Context: Kisspeptin (KISS1), a recently discovered neuropeptide that acts upstream of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons, is critical for maturation and function of the reproductive axis. This review aimed at providing comprehensive and up-to-date information on Kisspeptin and its role in female reproduction.

Evidence acquisition: A literature review was performed using PubMed for all English language articles published between 1999 and 2016.

Results: The kisspeptin system (KISS1/G protein-coupled receptor-54,GPR54) has recently been addressed as an essential gatekeeper of puberty onset and gonadotropin secretion. Compelling evidence has documented that hypothalamic Kisspeptin mediates steroid feedback and metabolic cues at different developmental stages throughout lifespan. Furthermore, in pre/postnatally androgenized animal models, which exhibit many of the characteristics of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), the hypothalamic expression of KISS1 and GnRH is abnormal, which might lead to multiple tissue abnormalities observed in this disorder.

Conclusions: Kisspeptin, a principal activator of GnRH neurons and the target of endocrine and metabolic cues, is a prerequisite for the onset of puberty and maintenance of normal reproductive function, as abnormal KISS1/GPR54 system has been reported in both animal models and patients with certain forms of infertility, e.g. Idiopathic Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH) and PCOS. The information suggests that kisspeptin or its receptor represents a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of patients with fertility disorders.

Keywords: GPR54; HPG Axis; Kisspeptin; Puberty; Reproduction.

Publication types

  • Review