The peptide hormone kisspeptin controls reproductive functions in the body by stimulating the secretion of hormones that activate hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. In this issue of the JCI, research led by Waljit Dhillo at Imperial College London examined whether kisspeptin also stimulates limbic brain areas, which are associated with mood and emotion, to influence reproductive behavior. Using functional neuroimaging, they discovered that administering kisspeptin to healthy heterosexual men increased activity in limbic brain regions when subjects viewed images related to sex or couple bonding. Furthermore, kisspeptin treatment also enhanced brain activity during assessments of reward, drive, and mood. Collectively, these results suggest that kisspeptin regulates sexual and emotional processing in the brain in addition to controlling hormone production.
TITLE: Kisspeptin Modulates Sexual and Emotional Brain Processing in Humans
Imperial College London
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