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Physiol Behav. 2017 Jul 1;176:207-213. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.03.002. Epub 2017 Mar 4.

Leptin resistance and hippocampal behavioral deficits.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, SC 29208, United States.
2
Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, SC 29208, United States; W.J.B. Dorn VA Medical Center, Columbia, SC 29208, United States. Electronic address: lawrence.reagan@uscmed.sc.edu.

Abstract

The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin is an important regulator of body weight and metabolism through activation of brain leptin receptors expressed in regions such as the hypothalamus. Beyond these well described and characterized activities of leptin in the hypothalamus, it is becoming increasingly clear that the central activities of leptin extend to the hippocampus. Indeed, leptin receptors are expressed in the hippocampus where these receptors are proposed to mediate various aspects of hippocampal synaptic plasticity that ultimately impact cognitive function. This concept is supported by studies demonstrating that leptin promotes hippocampal-dependent learning and memory, as well as studies indicating that leptin resistance is associated with deficits in hippocampal-dependent behaviors and in the induction of depressive-like behaviors. The effects of leptin on cognitive/behavioral plasticity in the hippocampus may be regulated by direct activation of leptin receptors expressed in the hippocampus; additionally, leptin-mediated activation of synaptic networks that project to the hippocampus may also impact hippocampal-mediated behaviors. In view of these previous observations, the goal of this review will be to discuss the mechanisms through which leptin facilitates cognition and behavior, as well as to dissect the loci at which leptin resistance leads to impairments in hippocampal synaptic plasticity, including the development of cognitive deficits and increased risk of depressive illness in metabolic disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

PMID:
28267584
DOI:
10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.03.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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