Research ArticleObesity

Physiological consequences of transient hyperleptinemia during discrete developmental periods on body weight in mice

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Science Translational Medicine  01 Jan 2020:
Vol. 12, Issue 524, eaax6629
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aax6629

Prenatal priming of obesity

The hormone leptin suppresses food intake and regulates body weight, in part by acting on the hypothalamus. Here, Skowronski et al. studied the effects of elevated leptin in lean mice during discrete developmental time periods on subsequent weight gain. Hyperleptinemia during adolescence or adulthood did not affect weight gain upon later high-fat diet feeding. However, postnatal hyperleptinemia predisposed both male and female mice to diet-induced weight gain and adiposity as adults. Further studies should evaluate the mechanism by which elevated postnatal leptin affects future metabolism. If confirmed in humans, the authors’ findings could have implications for the prevention of later-life obesity during early childhood development.

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