Leptin and Neuroendocrine Regulation

  • Sefa GÜLTÜRK
  • Gonca IMIR

Meandros Med Dent J 2006;7(3):49-54

Leptin, the product of the ob gene, is produced exclusively by the adipose tissue and regulates energy intake and expenditure. Obese individuals have considerably higher serum leptin concentrations. In ob/ob mice, the fat deposition is increased as a result of insufficient production of leptin. In obese women and men, there is correlation between serum leptin concentrations and body mass index. Leptin appears to influence various reproductive functions. Injecting leptin into ob/ob mice that are infertile and with low levels of gonadotropin increases the weight of the uterus and ovaries and the number of follicles, resulting in restoration of fertility. Administering leptin treatment to normal female mice accelerates puberty. Leptin may be of importance for osteoblastic cell growth and bone mineralization. Leptin may also be expected to stimulate gonadotropin and sex- steroid synthesis and secretion through inhibition of Neuropeptide Y. It has been reported that leptin was expressed in several uterine myomas but not in normal myometrium, so leptin may have a role in the etiopathogenesis in uterine leiomyoma. In conclusion, leptin, regulating energy intake and expenditure also has regulatory effects on reproductive and neuro-endocrine systems.

Keywords: leptin, basal metabolic rate, osteoporosis, uterine leiomyoma