Kisspeptin stimulates sex hormone in infertile women

March 17th, 2009 - 3:52 pm ICT by IANS  

London, March 17 (IANS) Hormone kisspeptin shows promise as a potential new treatment for infertility in women, according to a new study.
Scientists of Imperial College have shown that giving kisspeptin to women with infertility can activate the release of sex hormones which control the menstrual cycle.

Kisspeptin is a product of the KISS-1 gene and is a key regulator of reproductive function. Animals and humans lacking kisspeptin do not go through puberty and remain sexually immature.

In a previous study, W. Dhillo of Imperial college and colleagues showed that kisspeptin treatment leads to the production of sex hormones in fertile women; they have now extended their research to look at the effects of kisspeptin in women whose periods have stopped due to a hormone imbalance.

In this study, funded by the Medical Research Council, The Wellcome Trust and National Institute for Health Research, a group of 10 women who were not menstruating and infertile, were injected with either kisspeptin or saline.

Blood samples were then taken to measure their levels of luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), two sex hormones essential for ovulation and fertility.

Kisspeptin led to a 48-fold increase in LH and 16-fold increase in FSH, when compared to the control treatment, said an Imperial College release.

Dhillo from the department of investigative medicine at Imperial College said: “Infertility is a devastating condition that affects millions of couples worldwide. This research shows that kisspeptin offers huge promise as a treatment for infertility.”

The research was presented at the annual Society for Endocrinology BES meeting in Harrogate.

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