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Front Physiol. 2011 Jun 14;2:26. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2011.00026. eCollection 2011.

Leptin in teleost fishes: an argument for comparative study.

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Department of Biology, University of Akron Akron, OH, USA.


All organisms face tradeoffs with regard to how limited energy resources should be invested. When is it most favorable to grow, to reproduce, how much lipid should be allocated to storage in preparation for a period of limited resources (e.g., winter), instead of being used for growth or maturation? These are a few of the high consequence fitness "decisions" that represent the balance between energy acquisition and allocation. Indeed, for animals to make favorable decisions about when to grow, eat, or reproduce, they must integrate signals among the systems responsible for energy acquisition, storage, and demand. We make the argument that leptin signaling is a likely candidate for an integrating system. Great progress has been made understanding the leptin system in mammals, however our understanding in fishes has been hampered by difficulty in cloning fish orthologs of mammalian proteins and (we assert), underutilization of the comparative approach.


endothermy; life history strategy; lipid metabolism

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