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Reductions in adipose tissue and skeletal growth in rat adult offspring after prenatal leptin exposure.

Journal article
Authors Cecilia Nilsson
Diana Swolin-Eide
Claes Ohlsson
Elias Eriksson
Hoi-Por Ho
Per Björntorp
Agneta Holmäng
Published in The Journal of endocrinology
Volume 176
Issue 1
Pages 13-21
ISSN 0022-0795
Publication year 2003
Published at Cardiovascular Institute
Institute of Physiology and Pharmacology, Dept of Pharmacology
Institute of Internal Medicine
Pages 13-21
Language en
Keywords Adipose Tissue, growth & development, Animals, Body Composition, drug effects, Body Weight, drug effects, Bone Density, drug effects, Bone Development, Eating, drug effects, Female, Gestational Age, Gonadal Steroid Hormones, blood, Leptin, blood, pharmacology, Male, Pregnancy, Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects, Rats, Rats, Wistar, Recombinant Proteins, pharmacology
Subject categories Pharmacology and Toxicology


Leptin is involved in regulating food intake, energy balance and bone formation. Increasing evidence suggests that leptin is also involved in fetal growth and development. The aim of this study was to determine if increased maternal leptin is followed by changes in body composition, skeletal growth or hormonal regulation in the adult rat offspring. Pregnant rats were given injections of either human recombinant leptin (3.5 mg/kg, i.p.) or vehicle on days 8, 10 and 12 of gestation. Both genders of leptin-exposed offspring showed significantly reduced adipose tIssue weight at adult age. Skeletal growth and cortical bone dimensions were significantly reduced. Circulating testosterone levels were significantly increased in female leptin-exposed offspring, and male leptin-exposed offspring had significant testicular enlargement. No significant effects were seen on circulating leptin levels or hypothalamic protein levels of the leptin receptor. The results demonstrate that maternally administered leptin is involved in fetal growth and development, leading to lean offspring with reduced skeletal growth.

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