KNDy neurons as the GnRH pulse generator: Recent studies in ruminants

Peptides. 2023 Jun:164:171005. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2023.171005. Epub 2023 Mar 27.


This review considers three aspects of recent work on the role of KNDy neurons in GnRH pulse generation in ruminants. First, work on basic mechanisms of pulse generation includes several tests of this hypothesis, all of which support it, and evidence that Kiss1r-containing neurons form a positive feedback circuit with the KNDy neural network that strengthen the activity of this network. The second section on pathways mediating external inputs focuses on the influence of nutrition and photoperiod, and describes the evidence supporting roles for proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and agouti-related peptide (AgRP) afferents to KNDy cells in each of these. Finally, we review studies exploring the potential applications of manipulating signaling by kisspeptin, and the other KNDy peptides, to control reproductive function in domestic animals and conclude that, although these approaches show some promise, they do not have major advantages over current practices at this time.

Keywords: Agouti-related peptide; Kiss1r; Kisspeptin; Kisspeptin analogs; Nutrition; Proopiomelanocortin.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arcuate Nucleus of Hypothalamus* / metabolism
  • Dynorphins / metabolism
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone*
  • Kisspeptins / metabolism
  • Neurokinin B / metabolism
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Ruminants / metabolism


  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Dynorphins
  • Neurokinin B
  • Kisspeptins