Acute Effects of Kisspeptin Administration on Bone Metabolism in Healthy Men

Alexander N Comninos, Morten S Hansen, Alan Courtney, Sirazum Choudhury, Lisa Yang, Edouard G Mills, Maria Phylactou, Mark Busbridge, Muaza Khir, Thilipan Thaventhiran, Paul Bech, Tricia Tan, Ali Abbara, Morten Frost, Waljit S Dhillo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Context: Osteoporosis results from disturbances in bone formation and resorption. Recent nonhuman data suggest that the reproductive hormone kisspeptin directly stimulates osteoblast differentiation in vitro and thus could have clinical therapeutic potential. However, the effects of kisspeptin on human bone metabolism are currently unknown. Objective: To assess the effects of kisspeptin on human bone metabolism in vitro and in vivo. Methods: In vitro study: of Mono- and cocultures of human osteoblasts and osteoclasts treated with kisspeptin. Clinical study: Randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, 2-way crossover clinical study in 26 men investigating the effects of acute kisspeptin administration (90 minutes) on human bone metabolism, with blood sampling every 30 minutes to +90 minutes. Cells for the in vitro study were from 12 male blood donors and 8 patients undergoing hip replacement surgery. Twenty-six healthy eugonadal men (age 26.8 ± 5.8 years) were included in the clinical study. The intervention was Kisspeptin (vs placebo) administration. The main outcome measures were changes in bone parameters and turnover markers. Results: Incubation with kisspeptin in vitro increased alkaline phosphatase levels in human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells by 41.1% (P = .0022), and robustly inhibited osteoclastic resorptive activity by up to 53.4% (P < .0001), in a dose-dependent manner. Kisspeptin administration to healthy men increased osteoblast activity, as evidenced by a 20.3% maximal increase in total osteocalcin (P = .021) and 24.3% maximal increase in carboxylated osteocalcin levels (P = .014). Conclusion: Collectively, these data provide the first human evidence that kisspeptin promotes osteogenic differentiation of osteoblast progenitors and inhibits bone resorption in vitro. Furthermore, kisspeptin acutely increases the bone formation marker osteocalcin but not resorption markers in healthy men, independent of downstream sex steroid levels. Kisspeptin could therefore have clinical therapeutic application in the treatment of osteoporosis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1529-1540
Publication statusPublished - 17. May 2022


  • bone metabolism
  • kisspeptin
  • osteoporosis
  • reproduction


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