Kisspeptin is produced in the hypothalamus, is an important hormone that starts the release of several other hormones. It stimulates the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) which then causes lutenizing 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 and was originally named metastin after its ability to prevent the spread of cancer (metastasis). Recent data has also described its action in the control of metabolism. Recent data suggests that kisspeptin may play a role in food intake, glucose homeostasis and mediating the effect of energy balance on reproductive function. Thus, kisspeptin may have a direct role in regulating energy balance and may also be 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. In females it can prevent menstruation which leads to other hormones dysfunction and absence of ovulation. Sometimes, just one injection of kisspeptin can trigger ovulation, which can allow for artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization using the woman's eggs.
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