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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Plasma leptin concentrations in cats: reference range, effect of weight gain and relationship with adiposity as measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry.

The aims of our study were to determine a reference range for plasma leptin in healthy, normal-weight cats and to measure the effect of weight gain on plasma leptin levels. To increase our understanding of the association between leptin and feline obesity, we investigated the relationship between plasma leptin and measures of adiposity in cats. Twenty-six normal-weight cats were used to determine the reference range for feline leptin using a multispecies radioimmunoassay. In the second part of the study, plasma leptin concentrations were determined in 16 cats before and after approximately 10 months of spontaneous weight gain. Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry scans (DEXA) were performed after weight gain. The tolerance interval for plasma leptin concentrations was 0.92-11.9 ng/ml Human Equivalent (HE) with a mean concentration of 6.41+/-2.19 ng/ml HE. In part two of the study, 16 cats gained on average 44.2% bodyweight over 10 months. The percentage of body fat in obese cats ranged from 34.2 to 48.7%. Mean plasma leptin concentrations increased from 7.88+/-4.02 ng/ml HE before weight gain to 24.5+/-12.1 ng/ml HE after weight gain, (P<0.001). Total body fat and body fat per cent were the strongest predictors of plasma leptin in obese cats (r=0.8 and r=0.78, P<0.001, respectively). In conclusion, plasma leptin concentrations increased three-fold in cats as a result of weight gain and were strongly correlated with the amount of adipose tissue present. Despite elevated leptin levels, cats continued to eat and gain weight, suggesting decreased sensitivity to leptin. This investigation into the biology of leptin in cats may aid the overall understanding of the role of leptin and the development of future treatments to help prevent and manage feline obesity.[1]


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