Kisspeptin modulates sexual and emotional brain processing in humans

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Title: Kisspeptin modulates sexual and emotional brain processing in humans
Author(s): Comninos, A
Wall, M
Demetriou, L
Shah, AJ
Clarke, S
Narayanaswamy, S
Nesbitt, A
Izzi-engbeaya, C
Prague, J
Abbara, A
Ratnasabapathy, R
Salem, V
Nijher, G
Jayasena, C
Tanner, M
Bassett, P
Mehta, A
Rabiner, E
Honigsperger, C
Silva, MR
Brandtzaeg, OK
Lundanes, E
Wilson, SR
Brown, RC
Thomas, SA
Bloom, SR
Dhillo, WS
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Background. Sex, emotion, and reproduction are fundamental and tightly entwined aspects of human behaviour. At a population level in humans, both the desire for sexual stimulation and the desire to bond with a partner are important precursors to reproduction. However, the relationships between these processes are incompletely understood. The limbic brain system has key roles in sexual and emotional behaviours, and is a likely candidate system for the integration of behaviour with the hormonal reproductive axis. We investigated the effects of kisspeptin, a recently identified key reproductive hormone, on limbic brain activity and behaviour. Methods. Using a combination of hormonal, functional neuroimaging and psychometric analyses we compared the effects of kisspeptin versus vehicle administration in 29 healthy heterosexual young men. Results. We demonstrate that kisspeptin enhances limbic brain activity specifically in response to sexual and couple-bonding stimuli. Furthermore, kisspeptin’s enhancement of limbic brain structures correlated with psychometric measures of reward, drive, mood and sexual aversion providing functional significance. In addition, kisspeptin administration attenuated negative mood. Conclusion. Collectively, our data provide evidence of a novel role for kisspeptin in the integration of sexual and emotional brain processing with reproduction in humans, and have important implications for our understanding of reproductive biology highly relevant to the current pharmacological development of kisspeptin as a potential therapeutic agent for patients with common disorders of reproductive function.
Publication Date: 1-Feb-2017
Date of Acceptance: 1-Dec-2016
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/42942
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI89519
ISSN: 1558-8238
Publisher: American Society for Clinical Investigation
Start Page: 709
End Page: 719
Journal / Book Title: Journal of Clinical Investigation
Volume: 127
Issue: 2
Sponsor/Funder: Wellcome Trust
National Institute for Health Research
Funder's Grant Number: 105603/Z/14/Z
RP-2014-05-001
Copyright Statement: © 2017 The Authors. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Immunology
11 Medical And Health Sciences
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Department of Medicine
Faculty of Medicine



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