Early developmental expression of leptin receptor gene and [125I]leptin binding in the rat forebrain

Anne-Sophie Carlo, Wolfgang Meyerhof, Lynda Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Leptin, via leptin receptors (Ob-R), regulates appetite and energy balance. Of the six isoforms of the receptor identified, so far, only the long form (Ob-Rb) can fully activate downstream signal transduction pathways. Although the expression and function of leptin receptors is well described in the adult brain, little is known about the ontogeny of leptin receptor system around the time of birth. In this study, the mRNA expression patterns of total leptin receptor, Ob-R, and the long signalling form of the receptor, Ob-Rb, were investigated in the brain of embryonic and newborn rats using in situ hybridisation and [I-125] leptin binding. On embryonic day 18 (E18), Ob-R mRNA was detected in the choroid plexus and the ependymal layer of the third ventricle by in situ hybridisation. At E21, Ob-Rb mRNA was first observed in the arcuate and the ventral premammillary hypothalamic nuclei while at P3, receptor expression was also found in the dorsomedial nucleus. Other leptin target areas identified were the trigeminal ganglion, the thalamus and the hippocampus. Using quantitative receptor autoradiography specific [I-125] leptin binding sites on the choroid plexus were found to increase with age in contrast to the ependymal layer of the third ventricle where levels decreased with age. Together these findings demonstrate that the leptin receptor system is differentially regulated during late gestation and early postnatal life in the rat. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-163
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Chemical Neuroanatomy
Issue number3
Early online date27 Feb 2007
Publication statusPublished - May 2007


  • leptin
  • development
  • hypothalamus
  • in situ hybridisation
  • receptor autoradiography
  • central-nervous-system
  • melanin-concentrating hormone
  • chorda tympani nerve
  • diabetic DB/DB mouse
  • messenger-RNA
  • hypothalamic neurons
  • long-form
  • arcuate nucleus
  • OB-R
  • protein expression


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