, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 33–39

The role of leptin in obesity and the potential for leptin replacement therapy

  • Helin Feng
  • Lihua Zheng
  • Zhangying Feng
  • Yaheng Zhao
  • Ning Zhang


Leptin (from the Greek word “lepto’’ meaning “thin”) is a 167-amino acid peptide hormone encoded by the obesity (ob) gene and secreted by white adipocytes. Blood leptin concentrations are increased in obese individuals. Leptin is a satiety hormone that provides negative feedback to the hypothalamus, controlling appetite and energy expenditure. Leptin binds to presynaptic GABAergic neurons to produce its effect, raising the distinct possibility that GABAergic axon terminals are the ultimate subcellular site of action for its effects. Released into the circulation, leptin crosses the blood–brain barrier and binds to leptin receptors, influencing the activity of various hypothalamic neurons, as well as encoding orexigenic and anorexigenic neuropeptides. Moreover, leptin affects a wide range of metabolic functions in the peripheral tissue. In this review, we discuss some physiologic functions of leptin, including effects on obesity and some effects of leptin replacement therapy.


Leptin Obesity Leptin replacement therapy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helin Feng
    • 1
  • Lihua Zheng
    • 2
  • Zhangying Feng
    • 3
  • Yaheng Zhao
    • 2
  • Ning Zhang
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of OrthopedicsThe Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Hebei Medical UniversityShijiazhuangChina
  2. 2.Department of General SurgeryThe Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Hebei Medical UniversityShijiazhuangChina
  3. 3.Beijing Key Laboratory of Drug Target and Screening ResearchInstitute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical CollegeBeijingChina
  4. 4.Department of CardiologyThe Fourth Hospital of Hebei Medical UniversityShijiazhuangChina

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