What is Leptin?

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

Leptin is a protein hormone involved in the regulation of energy intake and expenditure by the body. Leptin is an important cytokine that plays a key role in the regulation of appetite, food intake and metabolism.

Structure and function

Leptin is a 16 kDa adipose-derived protein comprising 167 amino acids. The hormone is coded for by the ob gene which is located on chromosome 7 in humans.

The majority of the leptin hormone is produced in white fat deposits in the body. Levels of leptin are directly associated with total amounts of fat in the body. Leptin may also be produced in the brown adipose tissue and by other body parts such as the ovaries, skeletal muscle, fundic glands in the stomach, placenta, bone marrow, pituitary gland and liver.

Discovery

At the Jackson Laboratory in the 1950s, a certain genetic strain of mice homozygous for the ob (obese) mutation were found to eat excessive amounts and to be massively obese. Studies of mice with a similar phenotype in the 1960's allowed researchers to characterize the defective gene.

During the 1990's, the ob gene was mapped and eventually identified as responsible for the production of a hormone that could regulate food intake and body weight.

One of the main researchers, Jeffrey Friedman announced the discovery of the ob gene in 1994 and called the hormone leptin, which originates from the Greek word "lepto" meaning "thin," referring to the fact that the normal allele of the ob gene keeps you thin.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Jun 20, 2023

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2023, June 20). What is Leptin?. News-Medical. Retrieved on April 15, 2024 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Leptin.aspx.

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "What is Leptin?". News-Medical. 15 April 2024. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Leptin.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "What is Leptin?". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Leptin.aspx. (accessed April 15, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2023. What is Leptin?. News-Medical, viewed 15 April 2024, https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Leptin.aspx.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
Post

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Scientists identify progenitor cells that could revolutionize osteoarthritis treatment