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J Biol Chem. 1996 Oct 11;271(41):25327-31.

Regulation of obese (ob) mRNA and plasma leptin levels in rhesus monkeys. Effects of insulin, body weight, and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

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  • 1Obesity and Diabetes Research Center, University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.


We have cloned the rhesus monkey obese cDNA and have analyzed its expression in monkeys with a wide range of body weights (lean to very obese) and with or without non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus to examine the relationship of ob gene expression to obesity and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. The sequence of monkey ob protein, excluding the signal peptide, showed 91% identity with the human protein. We observed a significant correlation between the level of ob mRNA and body weight. We also found a significant relationship between ob mRNA and fasting plasma insulin concentration; however, insulin stimulation during a 100-140-min euglycemic/hyperinsulinemic clamp did not result in any changes in ob mRNA levels. Circulating levels of the ob gene product leptin were also significantly correlated with body weight. These results show that ob gene expression is related to body weight and is not acutely regulated by insulin.

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