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Kisspeptin - a romantic substance key to fertility

From a scientific perspective, it is clear that one of the most important goals of organisms of any species is reproduction. Driven by the instinct to reproduce, animals are able to overcome the enormous difficulties involved in giving birth to offspring.

Unfortunately, humans, as the primates of the animal kingdom, also not infrequently face problems on the way to passing their genetic code on. While material problems can be overcome, the endocrine system can seriously mess with our plans for the future.

Medicine has been trying to confront fertility problems for years, and its answer to the neuroendocrine causes of these troubles is a substance with the romantic name kisspeptin.

What is Kisspeptin?

Kisspeptin peptide is a neurohormone discovered in 1996 to inhibit the formation of cancer metastases. However, later studies have shown that - in addition to its effect on melanoma cancer cells - this peptide is also involved in the regulation of reproductive hormones.

Kisspeptin is encoded by a gene called KISS1, and its name refers to the kisspeptin family, where the precursor is a polypeptide consisting of as many as 145 amino acid residues. After its degradation, shorter chains are obtained, consisting of 54, 14, 13 and, finally, 10 amino acids. Kisspeptin-10 is the most common subject of researchers' research by its faster action than the pre-degradation forms.

Kisspeptin - action

The described neuropeptide affects the reproductive performance of both men and women by triggering gonadoliberin (GnRH) deposits. It forms the basis of a signaling pathway from the hypothalamus, through the pituitary gland, to the gonads.

Scientists showed that low levels of kisspeptin receptors in mice resulted in decreased testes in males, and in females equaled a lack of maturation of reproductive follicles. The effect of an increase in the concentration of gonadoliberin in the body is an increase in the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH), responsible for the production of sex hormones in the gonads. This entire process results in an increase in sperm motility in men, and promotes the process of ovulation among women.

The effect of kisspeptin on regulating the levels of gonadotropins, namely the aforementioned LH and FSH (folitropin), points to a promising future for this peptide as a tool to combat fertility disorders. After intravenous injection of the substance, an increase in testosterone levels was noted among men (in addition to LH output), while in women suffering from hypothalamic performance problems involving the absence of menstruation, administration of kisspeptin induced an increase in luteinizing hormone levels for as long as 8 weeks. It should be mentioned here that the potency of kisspeptin is dependent on the phase of the menstrual cycle, as administration during the follicular phase will not be as effective as it is during the luteal phase.

In addition to extensive scientific research, users of doping anabolic-androgenic steroids (SAAs) test kisspeptin-10 on their own bodies. SAA use causes endocrine disruption, resulting in, among other things, testicular atrophy, infertility or libido disorders, which is known as blocking endogenous testosterone production. Because of its potential for treating infertility, kisspeptin-10 has begun to be used as an adjunct to unblocking, and sometimes as a prophylactic against blocking.

Keep in mind that kisspeptin-10 for unblocking purposes has its uses only when paired with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), as it is the latter that replaces LH, and kisspeptin-10 only stimulates cells in the testes to produce it.

Kisspeptin - Dosage

The dosage of kisspeptin should be determined according to tests of FSH and LH levels in the blood, as well as depending on the problems being faced. Tests of users showed that positive results were observed with 300 mcg, divided into 3 doses per week, but a doctor should be consulted to specify the appropriate dose.