Kisspeptin-10 (a.k.a. metastin) is a naturally occurring protein in humans that plays important roles in hormone signaling during puberty and reproduction. It is also thought to alter mood and behavior, promote angiogenesis, and regulate kidney function. The peptide has also been found in the brain and is known to suppress tumor growth and metastasis (spread). The peptide is of greatest scientific interest for its ability to influence gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH).
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Molecular Formula: C63H83N17O14
Molecular Weight: 1302.4 g/mol
PubChem CID: 25240297
Synonyms: KISS-1, Protein KISS-1, metastin, Kp-10 peptide
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Boosting Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is synthesized in and released from GnRH neurons in the hypothalamus. It is the first hormone released in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and controls the release of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) from the anterior pituitary gland. GnRH is the primary driver of puberty and controls the maturation of gametes in the genitals. It is used therapeutically to control menstruation in select settings, as a treatment for precocious puberty, and as a continuous infusion in certain types of cancer.
By affecting circulating levels of LH and FSH, kisspeptin can alter testosterone levels. This alteration, however, appears to be sex specific. In men, kisspeptin increases testosterone levels while in women it has no discernible impact on testosterone. In one study, 6 men were administered a derivative of kisspeptin via IV. They showed a significant increase in plasma testosterone levels (nearly 3-fold) after just 90 minutes. A different analog of kisspeptin has been found to alter the pulse frequency of LH in men, suggesting that kisspeptin helps to fine tune the normal pulsatile release of sex hormones. A study of healthy men given kisspeptin-10 revealed a rapid and dose-dependent increase in serum LH levels and a concomitant increase in testosterone levels. Kisspeptin-10 appears to achieve this feat by increasing the pulsatile release of LH. If given at high enough doses, kisspeptin-10 causes such rapid pulsation as to obscure individual pulses entirely, resulting in continuous LH release. This finding opens the door for potential uses of kisspeptin-10 and its analogues in a variety of settings from pregnancy to low testosterone levels and more.