Analysis of the expression of neurokinin B, kisspeptin, and their cognate receptors NK3R and KISS1R in the human female genital tract

Neurokinin B and kisspeptin regulate human female reproductive function by exerting a direct effect on peripheral reproductive tissues.

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Antonio Cejudo Roman, J.D., Francisco M. Pinto, Ph.D., Idaira Dorta, J.D., Teresa A. Almeida, Ph.D., Mariano Hernandez, Ph.D., Matilde Illanes, M.D., Ph.D., Manuel Tena-Sempere, Ph.D., Luz Candenas, Ph.D.

Vol 97, Issue 5, Pages 1213-1219



To investigate the presence of neurokinin B (NKB)/NK3 receptor (NK3R) and kisspeptin/KISS1 receptor (KISS1R) messenger RNA (mRNA) and proteins throughout the human female genital tract.


In vitro study.


Academic research laboratories and academic hospitals.


Fifteen reproductive-age women and 16 postmenopausal women provided fresh samples of uterus, ovary, or oviduct, and 12 women provided archival samples of endometrium or oviduct.


Fresh and archival samples of uterus, ovary, and oviduct obtained from reproductive-age and postmenopausal women.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Results of reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry to investigate the pattern of expression of NKB/NK3R and kisspeptin/KISS1R in target tissues.


Expression of the genes encoding NKB (TAC3) and NK3R (TACR3), and kisspeptin (KISS1) and its receptor (KISS1R) was found in the uterus, ovary, and oviduct. Both NKB and NK3R immunoreactivity was detected in the endometrium, the oviduct, and the ovary, with marked expression in endometrial and oviductal epithelial cells, where intense coexpression of kisspeptin and KISS1R was also detected. Positive staining for NKB and NK3R was found in the myometrium where, in contrast, kisspeptin and KISS1R were absent.


NKB/NK3R and kisspeptin/KISS1R are present in female peripheral reproductive tissues with colocalization of both systems in some non-neuronal cell populations of the human female genital tract. Our findings are compatible with a potential modulatory role of NKB and kisspeptin at peripheral reproductive tissues.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.