Advertisement

Kisspeptin: Past, Present, and Prologue

  • Robert A. Steiner
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 784)

Abstract

Research in the nineteenth and early twentieth century established that the brain awakens reproduction, governs reproductive activity in the adult of virtually all vertebrates. By 1950, nearly 100 years later, scientists realized that the hypothalamus and its neurosecretory products play a key role in regulating gonadal function in both males and females. Another 20 years would be required to reveal the chemical identity of GnRH and establish that neurons producing GnRH represent the final common pathway through which the brain regulates gonadotropin secretion. It had also become clear that GnRH neurons behave more like motor neurons—better perhaps at going than stopping—and are themselves regulated by a complex network of afferent inputs, which guide the tempo of sexual maturation, regulate estrous and menstrual cycles, control seasonal breeding, and stop reproduction under adversity. In 2003, the revelation that kisspeptin and its receptor are critical for reproduction opened a floodgate of research documenting the role of kisspeptin neurons as central processors of reproduction. Today, there is wide consensus that kisspeptin signaling in the brain is essential, providing the impetus to GnRH neurons to awaken at puberty and reigning the activity of these neurons when discretion is advised. We celebrate this watershed moment—with full knowledge that time and discovery will provide context and perspective to even these heady days.

Keywords

Afferent Input GnRH Neuron Final Common Pathway GnRH Secretion Pulsatile GnRH 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. 1.
    Berthod AA (1849) Archiv für Anatomie, Physiologie und wissenschaftleche Medicin, pp 42–46Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Aschner B (1912) Zur Physiologie des Zwischenhirns. Wein Klin Wochenschr 27:1042–10043Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hohlweg W, Junkmann K (1932) Die hormonal-nervöse Regulierung des Hypophysenvorder-lappens und der Keimdrüsen. Klin Wochenschr 11:321–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dey FL (1943) Evidence of hypothalamic control of hypophyseal gonadotropic functions in the female guinea pig. Endocrinology 33:75–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Pinilla L, Aguilar E, Dieguez C, Millar RP, Tena-Sempere M (2012) Kisspeptins and reproduction: physiological roles and regulatory mechanisms. Physiol Rev 92:1235–1316PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Padilla SL, Reef D, Zeltser LM (2012) Defining POMC neurons using transgenic reagents: impact of transient Pomc expression in diverse immature neuronal populations. Endocrinology 153:1219–1231PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Morrison CD, Munzberg H (2012) Capricious Cre: the devil is in the details. Endocrinology 153:1005–1007PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physiology and BiophysicsUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

Personalised recommendations