Leptin selectively increases energy expenditure of food-restricted lean mice

Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1998 Feb;22(2):83-8. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0800547.


Objective: To find out whether leptin can attenuate hypometabolic torpor-like states of metabolic rate (MR) in adult lean animals, as it attenuates the morning suppression of thermoregulatory thermogenesis in suckling-age rat pups.

Design: Leptin effects on MR and food intake were studied in mice aged 4-7 months, in which a high incidence of exaggerated circadian reductions of MR had been induced by chronic food-restriction and, for comparison, in free-feeding mice.

Protocol: Continuous recordings of MR, for a group of seven mice maintained at an ambient temperature of 24 degrees C, while they were repeatedly-with pauses of at least six days-treated for three consecutive days with either recombinant murine leptin (20, 200 or 600 pmol x g(-1) x d[-1]) or saline.

Results: Leptin treatment caused dose-dependent 5-15% increases in energy expenditure by moderating the decreases in MR during the circadian minima, without affecting either the MR during the circadian maxima or food intake. Similar treatment of free-feeding mice caused dose-dependent decreases of food intake without changing MR.

Conclusion: Leptin controls thermoregulatory energy expenditure when food supplies are scarce and changes food intake, rather than energy expenditure, when food is abundant.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Circadian Rhythm / drug effects
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Eating / physiology*
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Female
  • Food Deprivation / physiology*
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Leptin
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Oxygen Consumption / drug effects
  • Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Proteins / physiology
  • Random Allocation
  • Recombinant Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Time Factors


  • Leptin
  • Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins