The importance of leptin in animal science

Mirela Ahmadi, Nicolae Pacala, Ioan Bencsik, Dorel Dronca, Lavinia Stef, Ileana Nichita, Mihaela Scurtu, cornelia Milovanov


There are two different neurons that control the energetic homeostasis in animals: appetite-stimulating and appetite-suppressing neurons. Leptin is a peptide hormone (also known as “satiety hormone”), released by adipose cells, being an anorexigenic compound which inhibit the hunger. Leptin function in animal organism is opposite by the action of ghrelin – a peptide hormone acting as an orexigenic compound that activate the hunger sensation. The quantity of leptin produced in organism is correlated by the size and the number of adipocytes, and of course by the lipid tissue mass. The action of leptin is in accordance with the neuropeptide Y that signaling the brain to increase the appetite and make the animal to eat. When the animals lose weight, the mass of adipose tissue is diminished, that has as consequence a decrease the leptin concentration in the blood. Blood leptin is correlated also with other characteristics, such as: fasting for a short term, stress, physical activity, sleep duration (prehibernation and hibernation), insulin concentration, obesity and diabetes.


animals, leptin, energy homeostasis

Full Text:



Nelson D.L. and Cox M.M. Chapter 23: Hormonal Regulation and Integration of mammalian Metabolism (pp. 881-919). In: Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, fourth edition, Freeman and Company New York, 2005

Williams R.L., Wood L.G., Collins C.E., Morgan P.J., Callister R., Energy homeostasis and appetite regulating hormones as predictors of weight loss in men and women, Appetite, 2016, 101, 1-7, doi:10.1016/j.appet.2016.02.153

Galusca B., Germain B., Estour B., Maigreur et hormones de régulation de l’appétit, Médecine des Maladies Métaboliques, 2016, 10(1), 22-27, doi:10.1016/S1957-2557(16)30005-0

Marshall W.J., Bangrt S.K., Clinical Biochemistry – Chapter 11: Nutritional disorders and their management (pp. 210-214), in Metabolic and clinical aspects, second edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, Edinburg, London, New York, Oxford, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Sydney, Toronto, 2008.

Summary of Appetite Control and Maintaining Body Weight, by VetSci, May 2, 2010. Home page address:

Willis C.K., Wilcox A., Hormones and hibernation: possible links between hormone systems, winter energy balance and white-nose syndrome in bats, Horm. Behav., 2014, 66(1), 66-73, doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2014.04.009

Zhang F., Chen Y., Heiman M., Dimarchi R., Leptin: structure, function and biology, Vitam. Horm., 2005, 71, 345-72

Liu C., Liu K.J., Barry G., Ling N., Maki R.A., De Souza E.B., Expression and characterization of a putative high affinity human soluble leptin receptor, Endocrinology, 1997, 138(8), 3548-54

Bray G.A., Leptin and leptinomania, The Lancet, 1996, 348(9021), 140-141.

Fanjul C., Barrenetxe J., De Pablo-Maiso L., Lostao M.P., In vivo regulation of intestinal absorption of amino acids by leptin, J. Endocrinol., 2015, 224(1), 17-23; doi: 10.1530/JOE-14-0453

Bado A., Levasseur S., Attoub S., Kermorgant S., Laigneau J.P., Bortoluzzi M.N., Moizo L., Lehy T., Guerre-Millo M., Le Marchand-Brustel Y., Lewin M.J., The stomach is a source of leptin, Nature, 1998, 394(6695), 790-3.

Margetic S., Gazzola C., Pegg G.C., Hill R.A., Leptin: a review of its peripheral action and interactions, International Journal of Obesity, 2002, 26, 1407-1433

Margetic S., Gazzola C., Pegg G.C., Hill R.A., Leptin: a review of its peripheral action and interactions, International Journal of Obesity, 2002, 26, 1407-1433

Gaetke L.M., Frederich R.C., Oz H.S., McClain C.J., Decreased food intake rather than zinc deficiency is associated with changes in plasma leptin, metabolic rate, and activity levels in zinc deficient rats, The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 13(4), 237-244, doi: 10.1016/S0955-2863(01)00220-0.

Cimica V., Chen H.C., Iyer J.K., Reich N.C., Dynamics of the STAT3 Transcription Factor: Nuclear import dependent on Ran and Importin-1, PLoS One, 2011, 6(5), e20188, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020188.

Buettner C., Muse E.D., Cheng A., Chen L., Scherer T., Pocai A., Su K., Cheng B., Li X., Hervey-White J., Schwartz G., Kunos G., Rossetti L., Leptin controls adipose tissue lipogenesis via central, STAT3-independent mechanism, Nat Med, 2008, 14(6), 667-675.

Potenza M., Via M., Yanagisawa R.T., Excess Thyroid Hormone and Carbohydrate Metabolism, Endocr. Pract., 2009, 15(3), 254-262.

Ghrelin – peptidic hormone, CAS 258279-04-8,

Muller G., Ertl J., Gerl M., Preibisch G., Leptin impairs metabolic action of insulin on isolated rat adipocytes, J Biol Chem, 1997, 272, 10585-10593.

Muoio D.M., Dohm G.L., Tapscott E.B., Coleman R.A., Leptin opposes insulin’s effects on fatty acid partitioning in muscle isolated from obese ob/ob mice, Am J Physiol, 1999, 276, E913-E921

Schwartz M.W., Baskin D.G., Bukowski T.R., Kuijper J.L., Foster D., Lasser G., Prunkard D.E., Porte D.J.,Woods S.C., Seeley R.J.,Weigle D.S., Specificity of leptin action on elevated blood glucose levels and

hypothalamic neuropeptide Y gene expression in ob/ob mice, Diabetes, 1996, 45, 531 – 535.

Nyomba B.L.G., Johnson M., Berard L., Murphy L.J., Relationship between serum leptin and the insulin-like growth factor-I system in humans, Metab Clin Exp 1999, 48, 840-844.

Nelson D.L., Cox M.M., Chapter 23. Hormonal regulation and integration of mammalian metabolism: Obesity and the regulation of body mass (912-913), in Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, fourth edition, W.H. Freeman and Company New York, 2005.

Lindheim S.R., Sauer M.V., Carmina E., Chang P.L., Zimmerman R., Lobo R.A., Circulating leptin levels during ovulation induction: relation to adiposity and ovarian morphology, Fertil. Steril., 2000, 73(3), 493-8.

Considine R.V., Weight regulation, leptin and growth hormone, Horm Res, 1997, 48, 116-21.

Carro E., Senaris R., Considine R.V., Casanueva F.F., Dieguez C., Regulation of in vivo growth hormone secretion by leptin, Endocrinology, 1997, 138, 2203-2206.

Carro E., Senaris R.M., Seoane L.M., Frohman L.A., Arimura A., Casanueva F.F., Dieguez C., Role of growth hormone (GH)-releasing hormone and somatostatin on leptin-induced GH secretion, Neuroendocrinology, 1999, 69, 3-10.

Tannenbaum G.S., Gurd W., Laponte M., Leptin is a potent stimulator of spontaneous pulsatile growth hormone (GH) secretion and the GH response to GH-releasing hormone, Endocrinology, 1998, 139, 3871-3875.

Watanobe H., Habu S., Leptin regulates growth hormone-releasing factor, somatostatin, and alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone but not neuropeptide Y release in rat hypothalamus in vivo: relation with growth hormone secretion, J Neurosci, 2002, 22(14), 6265-71.

Houseknecht K.L., Portocarrero C.P., Lamenager R., Spurlock M.E., Growth hormone regulates leptin gene expresion in bovine adipose tissue: correlation with adipose IGF-1 expression, J Endocrinol, 2000, 164, 51-57.

Rauch F., Westermann F., Englaro P., Blum W.F., Schonau E., Serum leptin is suppressed by growth hormone therapy in growthhormone-deficient children. Horm Res, 1998, 50, 18-21.

Isozaki O,, Tsushima T., Miyakawa M., Nozoe Y., Demura H., Seki H., Growth hormone directly inhibits leptin gene expression in viscelar fat tissue in fatty Zucker rats, J Endocrinol, 1999, 161, 511-516.

Chen X.L., Hausman D.B., Dean R.G., Hausman H.J., Hormonal regulation of leptin mRNA expression and preadipcyte recruitment and differentiation in porcine primary cultures and S-V cells, Obes Res, 1998, 6, 164-172.

He L., Pan G., He G., Lin B., Liao C.C., Zuo X., Yuan L., Structural and functional studies of leptin from hibernating and non-hibernating bats, Gen Comp Endocrinol, 2010, 168(1), 29-35, doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2010.04.001

Kronfeld-Schor N., Richardson C., Silvia B.A., Kunz T.H., Widmaier E.P., Dissociation of leptin secretion and adiposity during prehibernatory fattening in little brown bats, Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 200, 279(4), R1277-81.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c)

Scientific Papers Animal Science and Biotechnologies publish open access articles under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence (read full legal code).


ISSN print 1841 - 9364
ISSN online 2344 - 4576
ISSN-L  1841 - 9364
(former ISSN 1221-5287, E-ISSN 1841-9364)

PAPER ACCESS: Full text articles available for free
FREQUENCY: Semiannual

Banat´s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine "King Michael I of Romania" from Timisoara
Bioengineering Faculty of Animal Resources
300645, Timişoara, Calea Aradului 119, Romania

E-mail: spasb [at]
Phone: +40-256-277160, Fax.: +40-256-277110