Defining the role of amygdalar kiss neurons as regulators of female reproductive physiology

University of St Andrews

Past award

Student: Kristen Sing : University of St Andrews

Year Award Started: 2016

Most mammals use external stimuli to appropriately balance reproductive responses with stress and defensive behaviours. Kisspeptins (Kiss) are a family of brain hormones that are critical for initiating and maintaining fertility. Cells containing Kiss are primarily located in the base of the forebrain, but little attention has been paid to Kiss neurons located in another part of the brain, called the amygdala. The amygdala is involved in motivational activities. Here, important sensory information is integrated and relayed to other parts of the brain to influence reproduction and stress. However, the contribution of amygdala Kiss neurons to regulating reproductive processes remains unknown. Our aim is to determine if exposure of male mice to sexually relevent cues activates amygdala Kiss neurons and regulates reproductive proceses. These studies will increase our understanding of how the brain controls reproductive processes and may lead to the development of new fertility therapies.

Research area: Metabolic or endocrine conditions


Dr Javier Tello
School of Medicine