Send to

Choose Destination
J Neurosci. 2010 Jul 28;30(30):10205-19. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2098-10.2010.

Kisspeptin directly excites anorexigenic proopiomelanocortin neurons but inhibits orexigenic neuropeptide Y cells by an indirect synaptic mechanism.

Author information

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


The neuropeptide kisspeptin is necessary for reproduction, fertility, and puberty. Here, we show strong kisspeptin innervation of hypothalamic anorexigenic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) cells, coupled with a robust direct excitatory response by POMC neurons (n > 200) to kisspeptin, mediated by mechanisms based on activation of a sodium/calcium exchanger and possibly opening of nonselective cation channels. The excitatory actions of kisspeptin on POMC cells were corroborated with quantitative PCR data showing kisspeptin receptor GPR54 expression in the arcuate nucleus, and the attenuation of excitation by the selective kisspeptin receptor antagonist, peptide 234. In contrast, kisspeptin inhibits orexigenic neuropeptide Y (NPY) neurons through an indirect mechanism based on enhancing GABA-mediated inhibitory synaptic tone. In striking contrast, gonadotropin-inhibiting hormone (GnIH and RFRP-3) and NPY, also found in axons abutting POMC cells, inhibit POMC cells and attenuate the kisspeptin excitation by a mechanism based on opening potassium channels. Together, these data suggest that the two central peptides that regulate reproduction, kisspeptin and GnIH, exert a strong direct action on POMC neurons. POMC cells may hypothetically serve as a conditional relay station downstream of kisspeptin and GnIH to signal the availability of energy resources relevant to reproduction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication type, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

Publication type

MeSH terms


Grant support

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center