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Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2006 Feb-Apr;27(1-2):177-82.

Leptin affects oligodendroglial development in the mouse embryonic cerebral cortex.

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Research Project Promotion Institute, Shimane University, Izumo, Japan.



Leptin, which is an obese gene product, decreases appetite and increases energy expenditure in adults. In our previous study, leptin was found to maintain neural stem cells and/or progenitor cells, preferentially astrocyte/oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, whereas it reduces the proportion of oligodendrocyte lineage-restricted precursor cells. It has been reported that leptin-deficient (ob/ob) mice have lower levels of glial proteins than wild-type mice. These findings suggest that leptin affects the development of glial cells. In this study, therefore, we investigated oligodendrocyte development in the cerebral cortex of ob/ob and wild-type mouse embryos by histochemistry.


We obtained ob/ob or wild-type (C57BL/6J) embryos on embryonic day (E) 18. We performed immunohistochemistry in the embryonic cerebrum with antibodies against NG2, platelet-derived growth factor receptor-alpha (PDGFR-alpha) and leptin receptor (Ob-R). In the cerebral cortex, we compared the number of the oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs), which are immunopositive for NG2 and/or PDGFR-alpha, between ob/ob and wild-type embryos.


We revealed that ob/ob embryos had significantly more OPCs than wild-type embryos on E18. PDGFR-alpha-positive OPCs did not coexpress leptin receptor in the cerebral cortex.


These findings suggest that leptin inhibits differentiation of multipotent and/or glial progenitor cells into OPCs in the mouse embryonic cerebral cortex, but it does not directly act on OPCs.

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