Molecular mechanisms of central leptin resistance in obesity

Arch Pharm Res. 2013 Feb;36(2):201-7. doi: 10.1007/s12272-013-0020-y. Epub 2013 Jan 29.


The rapidly increasing prevalence of obesity confers a huge health burden globally. The hypothalamus plays a central role in the regulation of energy homeostasis by integrating multiple metabolic signals from peripheral organs and modulating feeding behavior and energy metabolism. Leptin, a key appetite-regulating hormone derived from the white adipose tissue, primarily acts on hypothalamic neurons to activate catabolic pathway and inhibit anabolic pathway, which can result in anorexia and weight reduction. Despite striking obesity resulting from leptin deficiency, treatment with this hormone in human obesity has been unsuccessful due to leptin resistance. In this review, we describe recent researches extending our understanding of obesity-associated hypothalamic leptin resistance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight / genetics
  • Body Weight / physiology*
  • Energy Metabolism / genetics
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Homeostasis / genetics
  • Homeostasis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism
  • Hypothalamus / pathology
  • Leptin / genetics
  • Leptin / metabolism*
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / metabolism*


  • Leptin