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Female sexual behavior in mice is controlled by kisspeptin neurons

last modified Jan 30, 2018 12:44 PM
An international research team which included Prof Bill Colledge has made a major advancement in understanding how the brain controls sexual behaviour, published in Nature Communications.

A new study in mice reveals that the kisspeptin neurons in the hypothalamus, are also responsible for attraction to the opposite sex and sexual behaviour. Kisspeptin was previously identified a key factor in regulating puberty and fertility within the brain.

The international team was lead by Julie Bakker at Liège University (Belgium) and Prof Ulrich Boehm at Saarland University (Germany) and also involved PDN member Prof Bill Colledge.

Using female mice as a model, the researchers discovered that pheromones secreted by the male mouse activate kisspeptin neurons which, in turn, transmit this signal to another population of neurons (gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons) to drive attraction to the opposite sex. At the same time they also transmit this signal to cells that produce the neurotransmitter nitric oxide to trigger sexual behavior.

These findings suggest that kisspeptin has a pivotal role in regulating puberty, fertility, attraction and sex, and according to Julie Bakker, "may potentially open the door to new treatments for patients with hyposexual desire disorder".

Reference: Vincent Hellier, Olivier Brock, Michael Candlish, Elodie Desroziers, Mari Aoki, Christian Mayer, Richard Piet, Allan Herbison, William Henry Colledge, Vincent Prévot, Ulrich Boehm, Julie Bakker, (2018), Female sexual behavior in mice is controlled by kisspeptin neurons, Nature Communications, 2018; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-02797-2



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