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Clin Auton Res. 2013 Feb;23(1):1-7. doi: 10.1007/s10286-012-0168-4. Epub 2012 Jun 20.

Neuroanatomical determinants of the sympathetic nerve responses evoked by leptin.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


Leptin is an adipocyte-derived hormone that relays a satiety signal to the brain. The effect of leptin on the sympathetic nervous system is an important aspect in the regulation of energy homeostasis as well as several other physiological functions. The arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus is considered a major site for the regulation of physiological processes by leptin. However, there is growing recognition that other hypothalamic and extra-hypothalamic brain nuclei are important for leptin regulation of physiological processes including sympathetic nerve traffic. The current review discusses the various hypothalamic and extra-hypothalamic nuclei that have been implicated in leptin-induced increase in regional sympathetic nerve activity. The continuous rise in the prevalence of obesity underscores the importance of understanding the underlying neural mechanisms regulating sympathetic traffic to different tissues to design effective strategies to reverse obesity and associated diseases.

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