The role of neurokinin B signalling in reproductive neuroendocrinology

08 Sep 2015

The KNDy neuropeptides, kisspeptin, neurokinin B (NKB) and dynorphin A (Dyn), have been implicated in regulating pulsatile luteinising hormone (LH) secretion. Studies of the interactions between KNDy signalling systems, however, are currently few. Although the stimulatory effect of kisspeptin and the inhibitory effect of Dyn on the gonadotropin-releasing hormone pulse generator are widely accepted, the effects of NKB in rodents are variable and sometimes controversial. Literature describing increased LH secretion in response to NKB receptor agonism predominates and is in line with human physiology, as well as the pathophysiology of pubertal failure associated with disruption of NKB signalling. However, the robust suppression of the LH pulse, induced by the same treatment under hypoestrogenic conditions, may hold clues as to the mechanisms of reproductive inhibition under pathological conditions. This review discusses the recent evidence for this paradox and outlines a revised working model incorporating the mechanisms by which KNDy neuropeptides modulate the reproductive axis.