Leptin alters the structural and functional characteristics of adipose tissue before birth.

B. S. Yuen, P. C. Owens, B. S. Muhlhausler, C. T. Roberts, M. E. Symonds, D. H. Keisler, J. R. McFarlane, K. G. Kauter, Y. Evens, I. C. McMillen

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Abstract

This study aimed to determine for the first time whether leptin can act to alter the structural and functional characteristics of adipose tissue before birth. Leptin (0.48 mg/kg/day) or saline was infused intravenously into fetal sheep for 4 days from either 136 or 137 days of gestation (term=147+/-3 days). Circulating leptin concentrations were increased approximately four- to fivefold by leptin infusion. Leptin infusion resulted in a significant increase in the proportion of smaller lipid locules present within fetal perirenal adipose tissue (PAT), and this was associated with a significant increase in the proportion of multilocular tissue and a significant decrease in the proportion and relative mass of unilocular tissue in fetal PAT. The relative abundance of leptin mRNA in fetal PAT was significantly lower in the leptin-infused group, and there was a positive correlation between the relative abundance of leptin mRNA and the proportion of unilocular adipose tissue in fetal PAT. The amount of uncoupling protein 1 tended to be higher (P=0.06) in leptin-infused compared with saline-infused fetuses. This is the first demonstration that leptin can act to regulate the lipid storage characteristics, leptin synthetic capacity, and potential thermogenic functions of fat before birth.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1102-1104
Number of pages3
JournalThe FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Volume17
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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