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

Manipulation of neonatal gonadal steroid milieu and leptin secretion in later life in male and female rats.

The mechanism underlying the gender-based difference in circulating leptin levels (females>males) is still uncertain, because the difference persists even after adjustment for fat mass and sex steroid concentrations. In this study, we tested the possibility that the neonatal sex steroid milieu, which is critical for the sexual differentiation of the brain, may permanently affect leptin secretion in rats of both sexes. Male rats were neonatally castrated (NC), and females were neonatally androgenized (NA) by testosterone ( T). Two subsets of the NC males were given T on postnatal day 1 or 29. Appropriate controls for all these groups were prepared. The animals were sacrificed on postnatal day 57, and at this age, the percent body fat was similar among all the male and female groups. NC males had a two-fold, significantly higher level of leptin than intact males. This hyperleptinemia induced by NC was prevented by T when it was given neonatally, but not on the day 29. By contrast, NA for females was without effect on leptin titers in later life. These results suggest that neonatal T in male rats may, at least in part, mediate the sex-related difference in leptin secretion that becomes apparent in later life. However, as intact females still had significantly higher leptin titers than NC males, it is very likely that additional factors may also be responsible for the sexually dimorphic leptin secretion in rats.[1]


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