Journal of Molecular Medicine

, Volume 82, Issue 1, pp 12–20

The role of leptin→STAT3 signaling in neuroendocrine function: an integrative perspective

Review

DOI: 10.1007/s00109-003-0494-z

Cite this article as:
Bates, S.H. & Myers, M.G. J Mol Med (2004) 82: 12. doi:10.1007/s00109-003-0494-z

Abstract

The hormone leptin is secreted by adipose tissue in proportion to fat mass to signal the repletion of body energy stores to the neuroendocrine system. Leptin acts on neurons in the hypothalamus and elsewhere in the brain to decrease appetite and regulate the activity of the thyroid, adrenal, growth, gonadal, and lactational axes. Conversely, absence of leptin signaling initiates the neuroendocrine starvation response. Leptin mediates these effects by activating the long form (LRb) of its receptor. One LRb signal, STAT3, has recently been shown to play a critical role in the regulation of body weight and some elements of neuroendocrine function (thyroid, adrenal, lactation), although the participation of STAT3 in the gonadal and growth axes is negligible. We discuss these findings in the context of the hypothalamic neuroendocrine system as it is presently understood.

Keywords

Leptin Obesity Cell signaling Neuroendocrine 

Abbreviations

AgRP

Agouti-related peptide

ARC

Arcuate nucleus

CRH

Corticotropin-releasing hormone

ERK

Extracellular signal regulated kinase

GH

Growth hormone

GHRH

Growth hormone releasing hormone

GnRH

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone

LR

Leptin receptor

MCR

Melanocortin receptor

MSH

Melanocyte stimulating hormone

NPY

Neuropeptide Y

POMC

Pro-opiomelanocortin

PVH

Paraventricular hypothalamus

SH

Src homology

SHP

Src homology 2 containing phosphatase

SOCS

Suppressor of cytokine signaling

STAT

Signal transducer and activator of transcription

TRH

Thyrotropin-releasing hormone

VMH

Ventromedial hypothalamus

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Division, Joslin Diabetes Center, Department of MedicineHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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