Variants in the Kisspeptin-GnRH Pathway Modulate the Hormonal Profile and Reproductive Outcomes

DNA Cell Biol. 2020 Jun;39(6):1012-1022. doi: 10.1089/dna.2019.5165. Epub 2020 Apr 29.


Kisspeptin has been identified as a key regulatory protein in the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which subsequently increases gonadotropin secretion during puberty to establish reproductive function and regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. The effects of variants in the KISS1, KISS1R, and GNRHR genes and their possible association with assisted reproduction outcomes remain to be elucidated. In this study, we used next-generation sequencing to investigate the associations of the genetic diversity at the candidate loci for KISS1, KISS1R, and GNRHR with the hormonal profiles and reproductive outcomes in 86 women who underwent in vitro fertilization treatments. Variants in the KISS1 and KISS1R genes were associated with luteinizing hormone (rs35431622:T>C), anti-Mullerian hormone (rs71745629delT), follicle-stimulating hormone (rs73507529:C>A), and estradiol (rs73507527:G>A, rs350130:A>G, and rs73507529:C>A) levels, as well as with reproductive outcomes such as the number of oocytes retrieved (s35431622:T>C), metaphasis II oocytes (rs35431622:T>C), and embryos (rs1132506:G>C). Additionally, variants in the GNRHR UTR3' (rs1038426:C>A, rs12508464:A>C, rs13150734:C>A, rs17635850:A>G, rs35683646:G>A, rs35610027:C>G, rs35845954:T>C, rs17635749:C>T, and rs7666201:C>T) were associated with low prolactin levels. A conjoint analysis of clinical, hormonal, and genetic variables using a generalized linear model identified two variants of the KISS1 gene (rs71745629delT and rs1132506:G>C) that were significantly associated with hormonal variations and reproductive outcomes. The findings suggest that variants in KISS1, KISS1R, and GNRHR genes can modulate hormone levels and reproductive outcomes.

Keywords: GNRHR; KISS1; KISS1R; in vitro fertilization; kisspeptin; single nucleotide variation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Genetic Loci / genetics
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / metabolism*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Infertility / genetics
  • Kisspeptins / genetics*
  • Receptors, Kisspeptin-1 / genetics*
  • Receptors, LHRH / genetics*
  • Reproduction / genetics*


  • GNRHR protein, human
  • KISS1 protein, human
  • Kisspeptins
  • Receptors, Kisspeptin-1
  • Receptors, LHRH
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone