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Am J Physiol. 1999 Feb;276(2 Pt 1):E358-64.

Plasma insulin rise precedes rise in ob mRNA expression and plasma leptin in gold thioglucose-obese mice.

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Department of Endocrinology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, University of Sydney, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, St. Vincent's Hospital, Australia.


Circulating leptin levels are strongly related to the degree of adiposity, with hyperleptinemia being associated with hyperinsulinemia. In the gold thioglucose-injected mouse (GTG), hyperinsulinemia is an early abnormality in the development of insulin resistance and obesity. In this study, hyperinsulinemia occurred 1 wk post-GTG [GTG, 199 +/- 43; age-matched controls (CON), 53 +/- 5 microU/ml; P < 0.001], with leptin levels not rising until 2 wk post-GTG (CON, 3.2 +/- 0.3; GTG, 9.9 +/- 1.7 ng/ml; P < 0.001) in parallel with increases in the size of different fat pads and increased expression of ob mRNA. The ratio of serum leptin to fat pad weight was significantly higher in GTG mice 12 wk postinjection. Starvation-induced reductions in serum leptin (50%), glucose (50%), and insulin (74%) were greater than decreases in fat pad weight (18%). Adrenalectomy decreased both adiposity and serum leptin within 1 wk in both CON and GTG and altered the serum leptin level-to-fat pad weight ratio in CON. Thus hyperinsulinemia preceded increased ob expression and hyperleptinemia, which occurred in parallel with increasing adiposity, consistent with the role of leptin as an indicator of energy supplies. Changes in hormonal and nutritional status may modify this relationship.

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