Hormonal and neuroendocrine regulation of energy balance

P Trayhurn, Nigel Hoggard, Julian Mercer, D V Rayner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


A new dimension to the regulation of energy balance has come from the identification of the ob (obese) gene and its protein product, leptin. Leptin is produced primarily in white adipose tissue, but synthesis also occurs in brown fat and the placenta. Several physiological functions have been described for leptin the inhibition of food intake, the stimulation/maintenance of energy expenditure, as a signal of energy reserves to the reproductive system, and as a factor in haematopoiesis. The production of leptin by white fat is influenced by a number of factors, including insulin and glucocorticoids (which are stimulatory), and fasting, cold exposure and beta-adrenoceptor agonists (which are inhibitory). A key role in the regulation of leptin production is envisaged for the sympathetic nervous system, operating through beta 3-adrenoceptors. The leptin receptor gene is expressed in a wide range of tissues, and several splice variants are evident. A long form variant (Ob-Rb) with an intracellular signalling domain is found particularly in the hypothalamus. Leptin exerts its central effects through neuropeptide Y, and through the glucagon-like peptide-1 and melanocortin systems, but it may also interact with other neuroendocrine pathways. The role and function of the leptin system in agricultural animals has not been established, but it offers a potential new target for the manipulation of body fat.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-185
Number of pages9
JournalArchiv für Tierernährung
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998


  • Animals
  • Animals, Domestic
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Hormones
  • Leptin
  • Neurosecretory Systems
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Leptin


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