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Fatness and fertility: which direction?


Metabolic status has long been thought to determine reproductive status, with abnormal metabolic phenotypes altering reproductive cascades, such as the onset of puberty. In this issue of the JCI, Tolson and colleagues provide evidence that kisspeptin, a hormone that promotes sexual maturation, regulates metabolism. Female mice lacking the kisspeptin receptor (KISS1R) gained more weight than control animals, and this weight gain was caused not by increased food consumption, but by an overall decrease in energy and metabolism. While this study provides a direct link between the kisspeptin pathway and metabolic output, more work will need to be done to determine whether alterations in this pathway contribute to human obesity.