Using Kisspeptin to Predict Pubertal Outcomes for Youth With
The management of youth with delayed puberty is hampered by difficulty in predicting who will eventually progress through puberty and who will fail to attain adult reproductive endocrine function. The neuropeptide kisspeptin, which stimulates gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) release, can be used to probe the integrity of the reproductive endocrine axis. A study was conducted to determine whether responses to kisspeptin can predict outcomes for individuals with pubertal delay. 16 children (3 girls and 13 boys) with delayed or stalled puberty. Children who had undergone kisspeptin- and GnRH-stimulation tests were followed every 6 months for clinical evidence of progression through puberty. Inhibin B was measured in boys. A subset of participants underwent exome sequencing.

All participants who had responded to kisspeptin with a rise in luteinizing hormone (LH) of 0.8 mIU/mL or greater subsequently progressed through puberty. In contrast, all participants who had exhibited LH responses to kisspeptin less than 0.4 mIU/mL reached age 18 years without developing physical signs of puberty. Thus, responses to kisspeptin accurately predicted later pubertal outcomes. Moreover, the kisspeptin-stimulation test outperformed GnRH-stimulated LH, inhibin B, and genetic testing in predicting pubertal outcomes.

The kisspeptin-stimulation can assess future reproductive endocrine potential in prepubertal children and is a promising novel tool for predicting pubertal outcomes for children with delayed puberty.