There is no data regarding the interrelationships of circulating Makorin Ring Finger Protein-3 (MKRN3), Kisspeptin (KISS1), and Neurokinin B (NKB) concentrations during minipuberty in humans.
To determine temporal changes in circulating concentrations of MKRN3, KISS1, NKB, and gonadotropins and investigate interrelationships between them in healthy full-term (FT) and preterm (PT) infants during minipuberty period.
A prospective study of 6-month follow-up performed. Eighty-seven healthy newborns, 48 FT (19 boys/29 girls), and 39 PT (21 boys/18 girls) (gestational age 31–37 weeks), were included. Blood samples were taken at 7 days (D7), 2 months (M2), and 6 months (M6) of age. Serum MKRN3, KISS1, NKB, LH, FSH, total testosterone (TT), and estradiol (E2) concentrations were measured.
Seventy infants completed the study. MKRN3, KISS1, and NKB concentrations were similar in FT girls and boys. PT boys and girls also had similar concentrations of MKRN3, KISS1, and NKB. FT babies had significantly higher NKB concentrations than PT babies at D7, M2, and M6. MKRN3 and KISS1 concentrations do not differ between FT and PT babies. A strong positive correlation was found between MKRN3 and KISS1 at each time point and in all groups. FSH, LH, TT/E2 concentrations decrease while those of MKRN3 and KISS1 have a trend to increase toward the end of minipuberty. No correlation was detected between gonadotropins and MKRN3, KISS1, NKB concentrations.
Strong positive correlation demonstrated between KISS1 and MKRN3 suggests that interrelationship between molecules controlling minipuberty is not similar to those at puberty.
Research funding: The project is funded by Istanbul Medipol University Scientific Research Support program.
Author contributions: E. Atay, S. Kılınç, and Z. Atay designed and directed the project. E. Atay, S. Kılınç, and Z. Atay took the lead in preparing the draft article with medical writing assistance. All other authors contributed to data collection, participated in data analysis and interpretation, and critically reviewed the draft article.
Competing interests: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of this review.
Informed consent: Informed consent was obtained from all individuals included in this study.
Ethical approval: The present investigation was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki for human studies and was approved by the Swedish Ethical Review Authority (Dnr 2019-05076).
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