The kisspeptine is a hormone and neurotransmitter in its functioning in the brain, as a hormone is linked to the regulation of sexuality and affection, among other things. And it is a hormone that could have applications in the treatment against cancer.
Kisspeptine is linked to the inhibition of metastasis and the genesis of emotions related to affective bonding and sexual behavior. It was discovered in 1996.
In fact, it was initially called metastine because its discovery was associated with the suppression of metastasis. It would not be until 2001 when it would receive its new name, after seeing the effect that its absence generates for the arrival of puberty.
Kisspeptines (KiSS) are a set of neuroactive peptides derived from a single precursor, prepro-kisspeptine, released by hypothalamus neurons. They play an important role in sexual maturation and the female sexual cycle.
The term kisspeptine actually refers to a set of different peptides derived from a precursor common to all of them and which is encoded by the Kiss1 gene.
It is a substance generated endogenously, being then synthesized in a natural way by our organism. It is secreted mainly in the hypothalamus and the hypothalamus-hypophiso-gonadal axis, although it is also generated in large quantities in the placenta.
Its functioning is based on its binding to its receptor, GPR54, which is bound to the G protein (which in turn acts as a transmitter of information from a specific receptor to other proteins).
The receptors of this hormone have been found distributed throughout the brain and nervous system, although it is possible to find a much higher concentration in the nuclei anteroventral and arcuato of the same structure that seems to generate it, ie the hypothalamus.
It also appears in the spinal bulb, in the preoptic nucleus and in the medulla, being associated with the sexual response. Pancreas, adrenal cortex, liver, gonads and blood vessels are other structures in which it has been located, producing different effects.
The kisspeptine has certain sexual dimorphism: at the level of anteroventral paraventricular nucleus, the kisspeptine is much more present in women than in men, reducing the massive exposure to androgens during gestation the levels of this hormone and its receptors in this area.
The kisspeptine is a hormone with an important role in our body, exercising different functions in different systems. Although many of them are unknown, among the best known and researched we can find the following.
1. Wake up the libido
Kisspeptine is deeply linked to libido and sexual behavior, participating in the regulation of gonadal hormones. In humans it has been manifested that increases the level of excitement and the level of attraction that arouse romantic and erotic images.
This action comes from the activation of the neurons of the medial posterodorsal part of the amygdala (linked to sexual appetite), as well as due to one of the main functions that have been observed at a biological level: above all to stimulate the secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone. In fact, the high potential of this hormone to combat sexual dysfunctions has been raised.
This aspect has been observed mainly in men, while in women it has been observed that it causes an increase in the levels of luteinizing hormone (although the level of increase depends on the moment of the menstrual cycle at which it is administered).
2. Favors affectivity
The kisspeptine not only has a positive effect on a sexual level, but has also been associated with an emotional component that facilitates the experience of feelings of attachment and love, as well as the detection and appreciation of it.
3. Contributes to regulating the emotional response
Research carried out with human beings shows that when kisspeptine is injected, not only do libido and affection increase, but also the regulation of negative emotions is increased. It facilitates relaxation and the management of discomfort and stress. The possibility is raised that it could be used in the pharmacological treatment of different mental disorders.
4. Reduces anxiety
Linked to the previous point, kisspeptine is also related to a reduction in the level of anxiety, having as we have commented effects on the amygdala. This aspect has been observed in several animal models, generating a relaxation of behavior and lower levels of stress.
In humans, this could be associated with a decrease in anxiety in the different anxiety and obsessive disorders, as well as the anxiety that causes many cases of erectile dysfunction.
5. Affects maturation and development
A relationship has been found between kisspeptine and puberty, modifying the moment in which it occurs. The administration of kisspeptine stimulates the synthesis of gonadotropin-releasing hormone and generates an early entry into puberty. In women, it plays an important role in initiating the menstrual cycle.
6. Inhibits or hinders metastasis
In addition to its functions in the affective-sexual field, kisspeptine is a hormone really relevant in the treatment of different types of cancer. It has been observed that this hormone has a suppressing effect on the metastasis of cancers such as breast, ovary, kidney, lung and skin.
7. Involved in vasoconstriction
It also has an effect at the vascular level, participating in vasoconstriction.
8. Contributes to the regulation of insulin levels
The kisspeptin has been located in the pancreas, participating in the synthesis and release of insulin through beta cells (in islets can be found kisspeptin). There is some research linking this hormone to diabetes.
9.The kisspeptins, as it has already been pointed out is fundamental for the stimulation of the secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH).
The emergence of kisspeptine as a crucial regulator of the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis over the past 14 years has answered many questions about controlling the secretion of reproductive hormones from the hypothalamus.
More recently, the role of kisspeptine off the HPG axis has received increasing attention in hopes of delineating the pathways linking diverse sensory and social behaviors with reproduction.
Studies in a variety of species have determined a role for kisspeptine in reproductive behavioral networks including smell, hearing, fear, anxiety, mood, and sexual arousal.
Available evidence suggests that the extrahypothalamic signaling of kisspeptine encourages positive aspects of emotional and sexual brain processing in a supposed drive toward reproduction, and kisspeptine can link sexual and emotional brain processing with control of the HPG axis.