Leptin is a metabolic signal to the reproductive system

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Leptin is a metabolic signal to the reproductive system

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Title: Leptin is a metabolic signal to the reproductive system
Author: Ren, Hongping; Clifton, Donald K.; Weigle, David S.; Steiner, Robert A.; Kuijper, Joseph L.; Kabigting, Emilia B.; Barash, Ilona A.; Cheung, Clement C.
Abstract: Leptin, a newly-discovered hormonal product of the obese (ob) gene, is expressed by adipocytes and thought to play a role in the regulation of food intake and metabolism. We tested the hypothesis that leptin signals metabolic information to the reproductive system by examining its effects on the reproductive system of ob/ob mice, which have a congenital deficiency in leptin and are infertile. We treated pair-fed males and females with leptin (50 microg twice daily, ip) or vehicle (n=10/group) for 14 days, after which the animals were bled and killed. Leptin-treated females had significantly elevated serum levels of LH, increased ovarian and uterine weights, and stimulated aspects of ovarian and uterine histology compared to controls. Leptin-treated males had significantly elevated serum levels of FSH, increased testicular and seminal vesicle weights, greater seminal vesicle epithelial cell height, and elevated sperm counts compared to controls. These results demonstrate that leptin stimulates the reproductive endocrine system in both sexes of ob/ob mice and suggest that leptin may serve as a permissive signal to the reproductive system of normal animals.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1773/4488

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