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Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2002 Sep;227(8):616-9.

Intracerebroventricular leptin administration reduces food intake in pregnant and lactating mice.

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  • 1Department of Food, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida 32306-1493, USA.


Leptin acts within the hypothalamus to diminish food intake. During pregnancy and lactation, both circulating leptin concentrations and food intake are elevated, suggesting an ineffectiveness of leptin to reduce food intake in these mice. Thus, this study tested the ability of intracerebroventricular (ICV) leptin administration to alter food intake during pregnancy and lactation. Mice during the first, second, and third trimesters of pregnancy, lactating mice on postpartum Day 7, and age-matched female mice were used. Plasma leptin concentrations averaged 2.9 +/- 0.3 ng/ml in control mice, increased steadily as pregnancy progressed (3.4 +/- 0.7, 29.8 +/- 4.5, and 40.5 +/- 0.7 ng/ml during the first, second, and third trimesters, respectively), and remained elevated on Day 7 postpartum (26.4 +/- 7.8 ng/ml). Mice were food deprived for 4 h, injected ICV with vehicle or leptin (1 micro g), and food intake was subsequently measured hourly for 3 hr, and after 24 hr. Vehicle-treated pregnant mice consumed marginally more food than cycling control mice, whereas nursing dams ate two to three times as much food as controls. As expected, ICV leptin administration reduced 24-hr food intake of control mice by 2 g, or approximately 50%. ICV-administered leptin was as effective in reducing food intake of pregnant and lactating mice as observed in control mice. Thus, the elevated circulating leptin concentrations observed in pregnant and nursing mice did not alter the ability of ICV-administered leptin to diminish food intake. High plasma concentrations of leptin-binding proteins observed during pregnancy, and probably during lactation, may limit the amount of endogenous leptin reaching the hypothalamus, and may consequently enable increases in food intake concomitant with elevated plasma leptin during these nutritionally demanding periods.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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