Leptin (Greek leptos: thin) is a protein hormone released mainly by white adipocytes. It binds at leptin receptors in brain neurons involved in regulating energy intake and expenditure, mainly in the lateral hypothalamus, where the activity of neurons containing neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-related peptide (AgRP) is inhibited, while the activity of neurons expressing α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) is increased. The effects of leptin were observed by studying mutant obese mice (ob mice) that arose at random at the Jackson Laboratory in 1950. The human ob gene is located on chromosome 7 encoding a protein of 167 amino acids.
Even though leptin is also synthesized by other tissues including the placenta, ovaries, skeletal muscle, stomach, mammary epithelial cells, bone marrow, pituitary, and liver, circulating leptin concentration is highly associated with the total amount of body fat and positively correlated with BMI. Despite the fact that leptin is reducing...
References and Further Reading
- Grosshans, M., Vollmert, C., Vollstädt-Klein, S., Tost, H., Leber, S., Bach, P., Bühler, M., von der Goltz, C., Mutschler, J., Loeber, S., Hermann, D., Wiedemann, K., Meyer-Lindenberg, A., & Kiefer, F. (2012). Association of leptin with food cue-induced activation in human reward pathways. Archives of General Psychiatry, 69(5), 529–537.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar