Kisspeptin is produced in the hypothalamus. It is an important hormone that starts the release of several other hormones. It stimulates the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). This causes luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) to be released from the pituitary gland. These hormones have a direct role in the production of testosterone and estradiol.
It has a non-hormonal role too. Recent data has described its action in the control of metabolism. The data suggests it may play a role in food intake and glucose homeostasis. Additionally, it may play a role in mediating the effect of energy balance on reproductive function. Thus, kisspeptin may have a direct role in regulating energy balance, in addition to being a direct regulator of metabolism.
Improper kisspeptin function or low kisspeptin levels can cause problems. Specifically, inadequate function of this hormone can cause male and female infertility. A study from 2017 showed a significant decrease in serum kisspeptin for infertile men and men with a low sperm count. The serum levels were significantly higher in fertile men as compared to infertile males. The study provides a link between the kisspeptin levels and male reproductive fertility status. It can be considered a contributory factor in the control of testosterone, FSH and LH levels in males.
Having high levels of kisspeptin is not related to any conditions or symptoms. However, preliminary research indicates that high levels in childhood can lead to early puberty, but this has not yet been proven
Kisspeptin would appear to act directly on the nerve endings of GnRH neurons to control GnRH release, pulsatility, or discharge. Other studies show that it increases GnRH secretion as well as the level of mRNA. Kisspeptin is released in conjunction with two other hormones: dynorphin and neurokinin B, also called the KNDy neurons. The KNDy neurons are a fundamental element in regulating gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) pulses. These two hormones are not
understood well, but early research indicates they may have a role in causing the release of kisspeptin
Gonadotropin injections (LH and FSH) constitute the classical treatment for infertility in females. Kisspeptin injections, which stimulate secretion of endogenous gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) inducing increased secretion of LH and FSH from the pituitary gland, could be a new treatment for medically assisted reproduction in women and increasing fertility and natural
production of testosterone in men. This more physiological stimulation might reduce the risk of overstimulation of the ovaries often associated with excessive injections of LH and FSH. Kisspeptin has now been safely and successfully used in both men and women. It is possible that in the future the manipulation of kisspeptin signaling may be used in the treatment of reproductive disorders