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

Leptin serves as an upstream activator of an obligatory signaling cascade in the embryo-implantation process.

Leptin is essential for mouse reproduction, but the exact roles it serves are yet to be determined. Treatment of cultured endometrial cells with leptin increases the level of beta3-integrin, IL-1, leukemia inhibitory factor, and their corresponding receptors. These leptin- induced effects are eliminated by inhibitors of leptin receptor (OB-R) signaling. Herein the impact of blocking leptin/OB-R signaling in the mouse endometrium was assessed. Intrauterine injection of either leptin peptide antagonists (LPA-1 or -2) or OB-R antibody on d 3 of pregnancy impaired mouse implantation in comparison to intrauterine injection of scrambled peptides (LPA-Sc) or species-matched IgGs. Significant reduction in the number of implantation sites and uterine horns with implanted embryos was found after intrauterine injection of LPA-1 (1 of 22) vs. LPA-1Sc (11 of 15) and LPA-2 (3 of 17) vs. LPA-2Sc (14 of 16). The impact of disruption of leptin signaling on the endometrial expression of several molecules in pregnant mice was assessed by Western blot, immunohistochemistry, and confocal microscopy. Disruption of leptin signaling resulted in a significant reduction of IL-1 receptor type I, leukemia inhibitory factor, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2, and beta3-integrin levels. The levels of colony stimulating factor-1 receptor and OB-R were unaltered after treatment with LPAs compared with controls. Expression of OB-R protein was pregnancy dependent and found only in glandular epithelium after implantation occurred. Our findings support previous observations that leptin signaling is critical to the implantation process and suggest that molecules downstream of leptin-activated receptor may serve obligatory roles in endometrial receptivity and successful implantation.[1]


  1. Leptin serves as an upstream activator of an obligatory signaling cascade in the embryo-implantation process. Ramos, M.P., Rueda, B.R., Leavis, P.C., Gonzalez, R.R. Endocrinology (2005) [Pubmed]
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