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

Postnatal profile of plasma leptin concentrations in male and female rats: relation with the maturation of the pituitary-gonadal axis.

Leptin, the ob gene product, has been implicated in the initiation of puberty in mice and humans. However, it is not yet clear whether leptin also plays a pivotal role in promoting sexual maturation in rats. Based on the assumption that circulating leptin levels would increase during the peripubertal period if this hormone triggers puberty, we examined the developmental profile of plasma leptin from neonatal (day 1) through adult (day 85) age in both male and female rats and simultaneously monitored several important indices of pituitary-gonadal function. A significant elevation of plasma leptin during the peripubertal period was not observed in either male or female rats. Although this finding may not support leptin as a humoral factor triggering puberty, we observed a rise in leptin in both sexes from the second postnatal week, which clearly preceded the first significant elevations of luteinizing hormone and gonadal steroids. Therefore, it is still possible that leptin may play a role in promoting sexual maturation in rats of both sexes already from an early postnatal period. It seems that the role for leptin in sexual development is permissive, but not decisive, in rats.[1]


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