The Promise of Kisspeptin for Low Libido, Reproductive Disorders and Even Parkinson's
Kisspeptin, a hormone involved in regulating the reproductive system, gets its name from the KISS1 gene, which encodes it. The KISS1 gene was first discovered in 1996 in Hershey, Pennsylvania, which is famous for its chocolate kisses. As a nod to Hershey's iconic chocolate kisses and the city's association with them, the researchers named the gene "KISS1". The "KISS" in KISS1 actually stands for "KiSS-1 metastasis-suppressor," reflecting the gene's initial identification as a metastasis suppressor gene in cancer research. The peptide hormone produced by this gene, therefore, came to be known as "kisspeptin." The name has no relation to the act of kissing but is more of a playful reference to the location of the gene's discovery and its original association with cancer research.
Kisspeptin is a key hormone that plays a crucial role in the human reproductive system. It acts as a major regulator of the endocrine system, particularly influencing the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which is essential for the onset of puberty and the maintenance of reproductive capability.
In women, kisspeptin helps to regulate the menstrual cycle. It does this by triggering the release of GnRH, which in turn stimulates the production of other hormones like follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). These hormones are vital for ovulation and fertility.
Disturbances in kisspeptin signaling can lead to various reproductive issues, such as delayed puberty or infertility. In the context of shift work and its impact on women's reproductive health, disruptions in sleep and circadian rhythms could potentially affect kisspeptin levels. This could alter the normal hormonal patterns necessary for regular menstrual cycles and ovulation, potentially leading to menstrual irregularities and fertility issues.
Therefore, understanding and managing kisspeptin levels and its interaction with other hormones in the body are essential for maintaining a healthy reproductive system, especially in women exposed to irregular work schedules like shift work.
In the last year, many studies have been released on Kisspeptin Nasal Spray.
This study found that when healthy men were given kisspeptin through their nose, it increased their levels of luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and eventually, testosterone. The more kisspeptin they received, the greater the increase. These hormone levels started to rise about 30 to 45 minutes after getting the kisspeptin and stayed high for a while.
In women who had hypogonadism (a condition where the body doesn't produce enough sex hormones), the same nasal spray also increased their LH and FSH levels. However, it didn't significantly change their levels of other hormones like oestradiol or progesterone during the short period of the study.
The conclusion of this study is important because it's the first to show that kisspeptin can be effectively delivered through the nose to influence reproductive hormone levels in humans. This finding is promising for the future treatment of reproductive disorders, as it provides a new, safe, and non-invasive way to manage these conditions using kisspeptin.
In a study involving 32 premenopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), a condition characterized by low sexual desire, researchers found that administering kisspeptin through an intravenous infusion could change how their brains responded to sexual and attractive stimuli. This was observed in brain imaging tests and also correlated with their feelings of sexual aversion and distress.
The researchers used functional neuroimaging to look at changes in brain activity, along with psychometric and hormonal analyses, to assess the impact of kisspeptin. They found that kisspeptin altered activity in certain brain areas, and these changes were linked to improvements in how the women felt about their sexual function and attraction.
This research is important as it suggests that kisspeptin could be a new, safe, and effective treatment option for women with HSDD, addressing a significant need in women's sexual health. The study provides a foundation for further clinical applications of kisspeptin for treating sexual desire disorders.
Essentially, the study showed that kisspeptin could help in modifying brain activity related to sexual and attraction processing in women with HSDD. This discovery is significant because HSDD is a common issue among women, yet current treatments are limited and often have unwanted side effects.
In simple terms, this study explored a new, non-invasive way of using the hormone kisspeptin to treat reproductive and psychosexual disorders. Kisspeptin plays a crucial role in regulating the reproductive system, but previously it could only be given through injections or IV drips, which are more invasive and less convenient.
The researchers did several experiments to test if kisspeptin could be effectively administered through the nose (intranasally). They started with mice and found that giving kisspeptin through the nose successfully increased the release of luteinizing hormone (LH), which is important for reproduction. They also discovered that when kisspeptin was given this way, it connected well with areas in the nose and affected brain cells involved in reproductive hormone release.
Next, they tested this method in humans – specifically, in healthy men and women with a condition called hypothalamic amenorrhea, where menstruation stops due to issues with the hypothalamus. They found that in both groups, giving kisspeptin through the nose increased LH levels, showing a similar effect to what was seen in the mice.
Additionally, the researchers looked into the practicality of using kisspeptin as a nasal spray. They found that kisspeptin remained stable and effective for up to 60 days when stored at fridge temperature, indicating it could be a viable product.
In conclusion, this research shows that giving kisspeptin through the nose is a promising, user-friendly way to treat disorders related to reproductive hormones. This method could be more appealing to patients and doctors compared to the previous, more invasive ways of administering kisspeptin.
A 2023 study showed that the rats with the Parkinson's-like condition showed more anxiety and depression-like behaviors compared to healthy rats. However, rats treated with kisspeptin-54 showed improvements in these behaviors. The higher the dose, the better the improvement. The treatment also seemed to protect the brain cells that are usually affected by Parkinson’s.
These findings suggest that kisspeptin-54, given through the nose, could potentially be a new treatment for mood disorders in people with Parkinson’s disease.