Leptin responsiveness in mice that ectopically express agouti protein

Ruth B.S. Harris, Tiffany D. Mitchell, Randall L. Mynatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Agouti protein is an endogenous antagonist of melanocortin receptors (MCR), including MCR3 and MCR4, which have been implicated as part of the hypothalamic mechanism that mediates leptin-induced hypophagia. In this experiment we examined the effects of peripheral and central leptin administration in male and female β-actin promoter (BAPa) mice that express agouti protein ectopically and have a phenotype that includes obesity and diabetes which is exaggerated in males compared with females. Intraperitoneal infusion of 10 μg leptin/day for 13 days caused weight loss and a transient inhibition of food intake in wild-type mice, with a greater effect in males than females. Male BAPa mice were resistant to leptin infusion whereas female mice lost weight. All of the mice lost body weight following a single intracerebroventricular injection of leptin but the effect was greater in female BAPa mice than any other group. There also was a delayed suppression of food intake that was the same for wild-type and BAPa female mice, whereas food intake recovered faster in BAPa than wild-type males. The dissociation between food intake and body weight loss implies a significant effect of leptin on energy expenditure in BAPa mice. These results demonstrate that the effect of leptin on energy balance is not entirely dependent upon the melanocortin system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-167
Number of pages9
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • BAPa mice
  • Gender
  • Thermogenesis
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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