Kisspeptin activates the hypothalamic-adenohypophyseal-gonadal axis in prepubertal ewe lambs. Academic Article uri icon


  • The onset of puberty in mammals involves an increase in the pulsatile release of GNRH and LH. The KISS1 gene is essential for pubertal development, and its product, kisspeptin, stimulates the release of LH. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of kisspeptin in the hypothalamic-adenohypophyseal-gonadal axis of prepubertal ewe lambs. Ewe lambs (28 weeks of age) were treated intravenously with saline (control, n=6) or kisspeptin (20 g kisspeptin; n=6) every hour for 24 h. Kisspeptin stimulated pulse-like release of LH within 15 min following injections, and increased the frequency and amplitude of LH pulses, and mean circulating concentrations of LH and estradiol. A surge-like release of LH was observed in four kisspeptin-treated lambs beginning 17 h after the onset of treatment, and all four lambs had elevated circulating concentrations of progesterone within 5 days post-treatment. However, circulating concentrations of progesterone decreased within 2 days after the initial rise in three of the four ewe lambs, indicating that induced luteal activity was of short duration. The proportion of lambs that were pubertal (defined by circulating concentrations of progesterone above 1 ng/ml for at least 7 days) by 35 weeks of age (8/11) and the mean age at puberty (32 1 weeks) for those reaching puberty within the experimental period did not differ between treatments. Results support a role for kisspeptin in the activation of the hypothalamic-adenohypophyseal axis leading to the onset of puberty in ewe lambs.

published proceedings

  • Reproduction

author list (cited authors)

  • Redmond, J. S., Macedo, G. G., Velez, I. C., Caraty, A., Williams, G. L., & Amstalden, M.

citation count

  • 48

publication date

  • April 2011