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Discov Med. 2010 May;9(48):462-7.

Adipostatic regulation of motivation and emotion.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45237, USA.


The proper maintenance of body weight and mood are two of the most prevalent health issues present in society today. Obese humans display higher levels of mood-related disorders and the causality of such an association is unknown. A common feature of obesity is the imbalance of regulatory hormones which normally act to maintain stable energy balance and body weight. The adiposity hormone leptin is one such signal elevated in obesity with the capacity to dampen feeding behavior through action on brain circuits which regulate appetite and metabolism. Recent evidence suggests that leptin may regulate motivation through its actions within brain reward circuitry. In addition, leptin signaling within central nervous system regions that regulate cognition and emotion elicits anti-depressant like effects. Together, these data indicate that leptin may regulate the decreased motivation and mood present in obesity and depression. This review describes the capacity of leptin to regulate motivation and depression through actions within brain circuits that modulate effort-based behavior and emotion, respectively.

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