The relationship between elevated prolactin and infertility has been known for a long time, but the specific mechanism by which prolactin inhibited reproduction had been uncertain. The discovery of kisspeptin has provided novel insights into how prolactin might cause infertility, with extensive evidence that elevated prolactin inhibits secretion of kisspeptin, resulting in hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, and infertility. More recent data suggest that a converse relationship might also exist, with evidence that kisspeptin influences prolactin secretion. This brief review will examine the relationship between kisspeptin and prolactin from each of these two perspectives: the well-characterized inhibitory effect of prolactin on kisspeptin neurons and the more recent concept that kisspeptin neurons are involved in the control of prolactin secretion.
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