In the brain, kisspeptin is the conductor of the circuits that stimulate sexual behavior and partner attachment. Triggering both pleasure and the production of sex hormones.
This is probably what Cupid’s arrows are coated with: kisspeptin. This hormone, known since 2005 in humans, has just found its place in the biological puzzle that governs love attraction.
According to a study published on January 23 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, it would be nothing less than the key that allows the brain to react to sexual and emotional stimuli, by triggering both the pleasure circuits and the hormonal cascade that leads to reproduction!
The brains of young men facing erotic images scrutinized by MRI
Previous studies had already shown that kisspeptin stimulates the hormonal cascade that leads to the production of sexhormones in the gonads (testicles and ovaries).
The team of endocrinologist Waljit Dhillo (Imperial College London) analyzed its effect in the brain. In this case, the brains of 29 young men, infused with kisspeptin or a placebo, were examined by functional MRI while they watched images of sexual and romantic encounters.
Results: the hormone turned on all the deep brain structures (amygdala, cingulate cortex, thalamus, pallidum) known to be involved in sexual and romantic relationships. “And psychologically, it also enhanced satisfaction and good mood,” Waljit Dhillo points out.
The conductor of human reproduction
Like a conductor, kisspeptin is, according to the researchers, at the top of all the structures and molecules playing a role in human reproduction: it combines the pleasure of affection with that of sex, while arousing the reproductive organs.
“The role of kisspeptin is probably the same in women, and our next work will focus on verifying this,” adds the endocrinologist.