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Exogenous kisspeptin administration as a probe of GnRH neuronal function in patients with idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism.

ABSTRACT

Idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH) results from defective synthesis, secretion, or action of GnRH. Kisspeptin is a potent stimulus for GnRH secretion.We probed the functional capacity of the GnRH neuronal network in patients with IHH.Eleven subjects with congenital IHH (9 men and 2 women) and one male subject who underwent reversal of IHH were studied. Six of the twelve subjects had an identified genetic cause of their IHH: KAL1 (n = 1), FGFR1 (n = 3), PROKR2 (n = 1), GNRHR (n = 1).Subjects underwent q10 min blood sampling to measure GnRH-induced LH secretion at baseline and in response to intravenous boluses of kisspeptin (0.24 nmol/kg) and GnRH (75 ng/kg) both pre- and post-six days of treatment with exogenous GnRH (25 ng/kg sc every 2 h).All subjects with abiding IHH failed to demonstrate a GnRH-induced LH response to exogenous kisspeptin. In contrast, the subject who achieved reversal of his hypogonadotropism demonstrated a robust response to kisspeptin.The functional capacity of the GnRH neuronal network in IHH patients is impaired, as evidenced by their inability to respond to the same dose of kisspeptin that effects a robust GnRH-induced LH response in healthy men and luteal-phase women. This impairment is observed across a range of genotypes, suggesting that it reflects a fundamental property of GnRH neuronal networks that have not been properly engaged during pubertal development. In contrast, a patient who had experienced reversal of his hypogonadotropism responded to exogenous kisspeptin.