Decourt C., Robert V., Anger K., Galibert M., Madinier J. B., Liu X., Dardente H., Lomet D., Delmas A. F., Caraty A., Herbison A. E., Anderson G. M., Aucagne V. and Beltramo M.
Scientific Reports (2016) 6, 26908 - doi : 10.1038/srep26908
The neuropeptide kisspeptin and its receptor, KiSS1R, govern the reproductive timeline of mammals by triggering puberty onset and promoting ovulation by stimulating gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion. To overcome the drawback of kisspeptin short half-life we designed kisspeptin analogs combining original modifications, triazole peptidomimetic and albumin binding motif, to reduce proteolytic degradation and to slow down renal clearance, respectively. These analogs showed improved in vitro potency and dramatically enhanced pharmacodynamics. When injected intramuscularly into ewes (15 nmol/ewe) primed with a progestogen, the best analog (compound 6, C6) induced synchronized ovulations in both breeding and non-breeding seasons. Ovulations were fertile as demonstrated by the delivery of lambs at term. C6 was also fully active in both female and male mice but was completely inactive in KiSS1R KO mice. Electrophysiological recordings of GnRH neurons from brain slices of GnRH-GFP mice indicated that C6 exerted a direct excitatory action on GnRH neurons. Finally, in prepubertal female mice daily injections (0.3 nmol/mouse) for five days significantly advanced puberty. C6 ability to trigger ovulation and advance puberty demonstrates that kisspeptin analogs may find application in the management of livestock reproduction and opens new possibilities for the treatment of reproductive disorders in humans.