Leptin prevents obesity induced by a high-fat diet after diet-induced weight loss in the marsupial S. crassicaudata

Gary A. Wittert, Helen Turnbull, Perdita Hope, John E. Morley, Michael Horowitz

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The aims of this study were to determine in the marsupial Sminthopsis crassicaudata, the effects of leptin on food intake, body weight, tail width (a reflection of fat stores), and leptin mRNA, after caloric restriction followed by refeeding ad libitum with either a standard or high-fat preferred diet. S. crassicaudata (n = 32), were fed standard laboratory diet (LabD; 1.01 kcal/g, 20% fat) ad libitum for 3 days. On days 4-10, animals received LabD at 75% of basal intake and then (days 11-25) were fed either LabD or a choice of LabD and mealworms (MW; 2.99 kcal/g, 30% fat); during this time, half the animals (n = 8) in each group received either leptin (2.5 mg/kg) or PBS intraperitoneally two times daily. On day 26, animals were killed and fat was removed for assay of leptin mRNA. At baseline, body weight, tail width, and food intake were similar in each group. After caloric restriction, body weight (P < 0.001) and tail width (P < 0.001) decreased. On return to ad libitum feeding in the PBS-treated animals, body weight and tail width returned to baseline in the LabD-fed animals (P < 0.001) and increased above baseline in the MW-fed animals (P < 0.001). In the LabD groups, tail width (P < 0.001) and body weight (P < 0.001) decreased after leptin compared with PBS. In the MW groups, the increase in tail width (P < 0.001) and body weight (P = 0.001) were attenuated after leptin compared with PBS. The expression of leptin mRNA in groups fed MW were greater in PBS than in leptin-treated animals (P < 0.05). Therefore, after diet-induced weight loss, leptin prevents a gain in fat mass in S. crassicaudata; this has potential implications for the therapeutic use of leptin.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number4 55-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Adipose tissue
  • Resistance
  • Sminthopsis crassicaudata

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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