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Endocrinology. 1998 Apr;139(4):1524-32.

Effects of leptin on corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) synthesis and CRF neuron activation in the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus of obese (ob/ob) mice.

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Département de Physiologie, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.


The effects of leptin on the levels of CRF messenger RNA (mRNA) in the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus (PVN), on the activation of the PVN CRF cells, and on the plasma levels of corticosterone were investigated in lean (+/?) and obese (ob/ob) C57BL/6J male mice. Murine leptin was s.c. infused using osmotic minipumps. The treatment period extended to 7 days, and the daily dose of leptin delivered was 100 microg/kg. The mice were killed either in a fed state or following 24 h of total food deprivation. The starvation paradigm was employed to enhance the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in obese mice. In situ hybridization histochemistry was performed to determine the PVN levels of CRF mRNA and the arcuate nucleus levels of neuropeptide Y mRNA. The activity of the PVN CRF cells was estimated from the number of PVN cells colocalizing CRF mRNA and the protein Fos. Leptin led to a reduction in body weight gain and fat deposition. These effects were seen in both +/? and ob/ob mice and were observed to be particularly striking in obese mutants, in which leptin also caused an important reduction in food intake. Leptin also was found to affect plasma levels of corticosterone. It lowered the high corticosterone levels of obese mutants, an effect that appeared more evident in food-deprived than in fed mice. Finally, leptin prevented the induction of CRF synthesis in the PVN and the activation of the PVN CRF neurons observed in food-deprived ob/ob mice and hindered the elevation of arcuate nucleus neuropeptide Y synthesis in ob/ob mice. Together these results suggest a role for leptin in the excessive response of the hypophysiotropic CRF system of the ob/ob mouse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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