Plasma leptin and insulin in C57BI/6J mice on a high-fat diet: relation to subsequent changes in body weight

Acta Physiol Scand. 1999 Feb;165(2):233-40. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-201x.1999.00518.x.


It has been proposed that leptin and insulin through central effects are involved in the regulation of energy balance and body weight. Whether circulating leptin or insulin levels predict subsequent changes in body weight is, however, not known. We examined plasma leptin and insulin at 2, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of age in C57BI/6J mice given a normal diet (n = 12) or a high-fat diet (58% fat on a caloric base; n = 15). Plasma leptin levels increased by age and correlated with body weight in the entire material (r = 0.81, P < 0.001). Also plasma insulin increased by high-fat diet and correlated across all age periods with body weight (r = 0.56, P < 0.001). In mice, given normal diet, plasma leptin or insulin did not correlate to subsequent changes in body weight at any of the time points studied. However, in mice given the high-fat diet, plasma leptin at 6 (r = -0.57, P = 0.027) and 9 months of age (r = -0.56, P = 0.042) as well as plasma insulin at 6 (r = - 0.51, P = 0.049) and 9 months (r = -0.58, P = 0.037) correlated inversely to the change in body weight during the subsequent 3-month period. Hence, both leptin and insulin are negative predictors for future weight gain in high-fat fed mice. This suggests that when the regulation of body weight is challenged by a high-fat diet, leptin and insulin act to restrain or prevent future weight gain. This in turn may suggest that impairment of these (probably central) actions of leptin and insulin might underlie excessive increase in body weight under such conditions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Body Weight / physiology*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Leptin
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Radioimmunoassay


  • Biomarkers
  • Dietary Fats
  • Insulin
  • Leptin
  • Proteins