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Jun 19, 2019

Biology of leptin, the hunger hormone, revealed

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, neuroscience

In a new study, Yale researchers offer insight into leptin, a hormone that plays a key role in appetite, overeating, and obesity. Their findings advance knowledge about leptin and weight gain, and also suggest a potential strategy for developing future weight-loss treatments, they said.

The study, led by investigators at Yale and Harvard, was published the week of June 17, 2019, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Leptin, which is secreted by fat cells, informs the brain when fuel stored in body fat and in the liver is becoming depleted. It has not been well understood how low leptin concentrations in plasma — the largest component of blood — increase appetite. The researchers studied the biology of leptin in rodents. They also investigated the influence of nerve cells in the brain known as AgRP neurons, which regulate eating behavior.

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