Neurokinin 3 Receptor Antagonism Reveals Roles for Neurokinin B in the Regulation of Gonadotropin Secretion and Hot Flashes in Postmenopausal Women

Karolina Skorupskaite, Jyothis T. George, Johannes D. Veldhuis, Robert P. Millar, Richard A. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objectives: Neurokinin B (NKB) and kisspeptin are obligate for normal gonadotropin secretion, and links between gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) pulsatility and vasomotor symptoms have been proposed. Using a selective NKB receptor (NK3R) antagonist, the role of NKB in the hypergonadotropic state in menopausal women was explored. Methods: Eleven postmenopausal women were administered the NK3R antagonist MLE4901 at 40 mg twice daily orally for 7 days. Ten-minute blood sampling for 8 h was performed before and on the last day of NK3R antagonist treatment for luteinising hormone (LH) pulsatility analysis with kisspeptin-10 (0.3 μg/kg i.v. bolus) administered at 6 h on both days. Hot flash frequency and severity were self-reported for 7 days before and during NK3R antagonist administration. Results: LH fell from 29.3 ± 4.1 to 24.4 ± 3.8 IU/L (p < 0.05) after 7 days of NK3R antagonist treatment, with no change in follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Basal (non-pulsatile) LH secretion was reduced (549.0 ± 70.8 vs. 366.1 ± 92.1 IU/L/6 h, p = 0.006), and while the LH pulse frequency did not change in the group as a whole (from 0.8 ± 0.1 to 0.7 ± 0.1 pulses/h, ns), it did fall in the 8 women with hot flashes (from 1.0 ± 0.1 to 0.7 ± 0.1 pulses/h, p < 0.05). These women also reported a reduction in hot flash frequency (from 3.4 ± 1.2 to 1.0 ± 0.6 hot flashes/day, p = 0.008) whilst taking the NK3R antagonist. Kisspeptin-10 did not affect LH secretion with or without the NK3R antagonist. Conclusions: The administration of an NK3R antagonist indicates a role for NKB in the regulation of LH/GnRH in postmenopausal women, whereas the lack of response to kisspeptin may reflect the hypo-oestrogenic state. These data support a link of LH/GnRH pulsatility and vasomotor symptoms with NK3R antagonism as a potential therapeutic approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-157
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone
  • Hot flashes
  • Kisspeptin
  • Luteinising hormone pulsatility
  • Menopause
  • Neurokinin B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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