LEPTIN RESISTANCE EXPLAINED
Neurons in the hypothalamus receive and process peripheral signals that transmit information concerning energy stores. Many human obesity conditions are characterized by a resistance to leptin — a hormone controlling food intake and storage — in this region of the brain. This week, Malcolm J. Low of the Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, and colleagues go some way to explaining the neuronal mechanisms behind this (Nature, Vol. 411 No. 6836, 24 May 2001).
Low’s team describes the electrophysiological properties of an important class of leptin-sensitive neurons, proopiomelanocortin neurons. They studied these neurons by making them visible through the targeted expression of green fluorescent protein in transgenic mice.
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(C) Nature press release.
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