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Science. 2000 Jan 7;287(5450):125-8.

Modulation of brain reward circuitry by leptin.

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Center for Studies in Behavioural Neurobiology, Concordia University, Montréal, QC, H3G 1M8, Canada.

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  • Science 2000 Mar 17;287(5460):1931.


Leptin, a hormone secreted by fat cells, suppresses food intake and promotes weight loss. To assess the action of this hormone on brain reward circuitry, changes in the rewarding effect of lateral hypothalamic stimulation were measured after leptin administration. At five stimulation sites near the fornix, the effectiveness of the rewarding electrical stimulation was enhanced by chronic food restriction and attenuated by intracerebroventricular infusion of leptin. In contrast, the rewarding effect of stimulating neighboring sites was insensitive to chronic food restriction and was enhanced by leptin in three of four cases. These opposing effects of leptin may mirror complementary changes in the rewarding effects of feeding and of competing behaviors.

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