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Hormone could be key to new fertility treatment

17th March 2009

Scientists from Imperial College London say the hormone kisspeptin has the potential to be used to create a safer and more efficient fertility treatment. 

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The hormone could restart reproduction capability in women with lower amounts of hormones.

Kisspeptin helps to stimulate the release of hormones responsible for menstruation. Creatures which do not have the hormone do not develop sexually or undergo puberty.  

The team made a presentation of their research at the Society for Endocrinology conference.

Previously performed research by the team demonstrated that treating women with kisspeptin produces sex hormones in fertile subjects.

The latest research examines how the hormone affects subjects who have stopped menstruating because of hormonal imbalances.

Ten non-menstruating women were given an injection of either saline or kisspeptin and their blood was then measured for levels of two fertility hormones known as luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).

Kisspeptin increased levels of LH by 48 times and 16 times in FSH.

Lead researcher Dr Waljit Dhillo said: "This is a very exciting result and suggests that kisspeptin treatment could restore reproductive function in women with low sex hormone levels."

"Our future research will focus on determining the best protocol for repeated kisspeptin administration with the hope of developing a new therapy for infertility."

 

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