Kisspeptins, a family of neuropeptides encoded by the Kiss1 gene that are mainly expressed in discrete neuronal populations of the hypothalamus, have recently emerged as essential upstream regulatory elements of GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) neurons and, thereby, potent elicitors of gonadotropin secretion. Indeed, kisspeptins are now recognized as important regulators of key aspects of the maturation and function of the reproductive axis, including the sexual differentiation of the brain, the timing of puberty, the adult regulation of gonadotropin secretion by gonadal hormones, and the control of fertility by metabolic and environmental (e.g., photoperiod) cues. Appreciation of these fundamental biological features has led to the contention that kisspeptins are indispensable elements of the reproductive brain whose relevance goes beyond their crucial physiological roles and may pose potential pathophysiological and therapeutic interest. In spite of such a consensus, recent developments in the field have helped to expand, and somewhat challenged, our current understanding of the neuroendocrine and molecular mechanisms whereby some of the effects of kisspeptins are conducted. This review aims to provide a synoptic and balanced account of the consensus knowledge and recent findings in the field of kisspeptin physiology, which we predict will be crucial in shaping the progress of our understanding of the roles played by this family of neuropeptides in reproductive biology.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 85 • No. 4