Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


The new skinny on leptin

Leptin — commonly dubbed the "fat hormone" — does more than tell the brain when to eat. A new study by researchers at The University of Akron and Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) shows that leptin may play a role in hearing and vision loss. This discovery, made in zebrafish treated to produce low leptin, could ultimately help doctors better understand sensory loss in humans.
While the scientists expected the leptin-deficient fish would be unable metabolize fat, "we did not expect that the leptin also affects the development of sensory systems," says Richard Londraville, UA professor of biology.

Hormone's powerful impact

"We discovered that leptin influences the development of eyes and ears in fish," says Londraville, explaining how the popular hormone of study (the subject of about 30,000 reports since its 1994 discovery) also controls body temperature, immune function and bone density. The hormone's newly discovered impact on the sensory systems of fish draws renewed interest to previous leptin research on mice, Londraville says. These studies revealed that leptin loss also affects eye and ear development in mice.

Published in the Sept. 15, 2012, General and Comparative Endocrinology journal, "Knockdown of leptin A expression dramatically alters zebrafish development" explores leptin's evolution, or what it used to do, to provide clues to its impact on humans. The research was led by UA Professor of Biology Dr. Qin Liu, a leading expert on the technology that allowed leptin manipulation of the zebrafish.
Implications for humans

"There is some evidence that leptin deficiencies in fish likely have the same effect on humans, so this may be pointing toward something more widespread than we thought," Londraville says. "Perhaps more research should be spent on the sensory effects of leptin, which hasn't received much attention."

Londraville and his research colleagues will further their research, which was initially launched with a $250,000 National Institutes of Health grant. The team was granted an additional $435,000 in NIH funding, which they will use over the next three years to study how leptin is controlled differently in mammals and fish and the resulting consequences.

Media contact: Denise Henry, 330-972-6477 or

Denise Henry | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>