Role of Leptin in Metabolic Adaptation During Cold Acclimation

Gang-Bin Tang; Xiang-Fang Tang; Kui Li; De-Hua Wang
December 2013
Journal of Stress Physiology & Biochemistry;2013, Vol. 9 Issue 4, p101
Academic Journal
Chronic cold exposure stimulates thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue, resulting in fat mobilization and compensatory hyperphagia. Mostly, these physiological events are accompanied by a remarkable reduction in serum leptin levels. However, the physiological roles of hypoleptinemia in cold adaptation are still not fully clear. We hypothesized that leptin is the keystone of the regulatory systems linking energy balance to cold adaptation. Leptin treatment (5μg/day) decreased food intake, body weight, serum ghrelin levels and hypothalamic melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) gene expression. Food restriction in the pair-fed group mimicked most of the effects induced by leptin treatment. Central coadministration of ghrelin (1.2 μg/day) partially reversed the effect of leptin on hypothalamic MCH mRNA, but it did not block the reducing effects of leptin on food intake, body weight and serum ghrelin levels. In addition, hypothalamic pro-opiomelanocortin gene expression increased significantly in response to the coadministration of leptin and ghrelin. Collectively, we conclude that the regulatory effects of leptin on energy balance in cold-acclimated rats are dependent on feeding, which may involve the reduction of hypothalamic MCH gene expression. We found no evidence for ghrelin involvement in the regulation of leptin on food intake and body weight during cold acclimation.


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