Kisspeptin : the hormone that makes mating the mouse

Health 27 January, 2018

LeeSnider / Epictura

Published the 27.01.2018 at 21h11


Keywords :


The temptation would be great to call it ” the love hormone “, if the mark was filed. Kisspeptin, a small molecule produced in the brain deep, has many talents. Discovered in 2005 in the human, it has rapidly emerged as a cornerstone in the biology of reproduction. It thus plays a major role in the onset of puberty and ovulation, and may be in the induction of desire. In short, it tends to put the (other) hormones boiling.

Of the snout to the rump

European researchers grouped around the university of the Saarland, Germany, have once again reinforced the idea already sympathetic to the of kisspeptin. In an article published in Nature Communications, the less sexy read than one might imagine, they have shown that the hormone played a central role in the chain of events leading to a female mouse to give without a second thought to her male counterpart.

Unlike us, other primates, rodents are animals essentially olfactory. The equivalent of a œillade perverse in the mouse, therefore, is to sniff its congener. If the fragrance has time to please him, a female mouse forward (in heat) may very well decide to give in to temptation on this one criterion. Still need to it detect that it is a male, without which the part of legs in the air may announce inconclusive in the plan reproductive.

Mating and ovulation

In the brain of the mouse, several types of neurons producing kisspeptin. Some of them are located in the hypothalamus, a structure deep in the brain that serves as the yard for the sensory stimuli. The researchers had previously shown that these neurons were active when a female mouse detects the pheromones of a male. This time, they were able to determine that this activation led to such mice to show their émoustillement without ambiguity : in for the croup.

A parallel circuit leads to the activation of the neurons of the pituitary gland (the master endocrine gland of the brain) capable of releasing the GnRH, a hormone well-known to trigger ovulation. In other words, the researchers have created a good share of the neurobiological circuits that lead to the olfactory perception of a potential partner in the implementation of a mating behaviour to be referred to reproductive.

Female Viagra, the two of us ?

“In many animals sexual behaviors that are synchronized with ovulation to maximise the chances of fertilisation, and, therefore, perpetuation of the species “, explained Ulrich Boehm, professor of clinical pharmacology at the university of Saarland and one of the authors of the seniors of the study. “Until now, we knew very little about how the brain linked ovulation, attraction and sex. We now know that a single molecule, kisspeptin, controls these aspects. “

And in the human being ? Difficult to say whether the kisspeptin may have an aphrodisiac effect in animals as complicated as we. Studies have shown a moderate effect in humans. Especially, the small hormone could lead to progress in the long and laborious quest for a female viagra. Suffice to say that medical issues, and financial more, give all the reasons in the world to take an interest in this molecule the name angel. Kisspeptin, the hormone of sex ?