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Rat thyroid gland expresses the long form of leptin receptors, and leptin stimulates the function of the gland in euthyroid non-fasted animals

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Leptin is an adipose tissue-secreted hormone, which decreases caloric intake and increases energy expenditure. Some effects of leptin on energy balance seem to be mediated by the hypothalamo-pituitary-thyroid axis. The present study was designed to ascertain whether i) rat thyroid gland expresses the long form of leptin receptor (ObRb) and ii) the prolonged leptin administration (daily subcutaneous injections of 24 nmol/kg leptin for 6 consecutive days) affects thyroid-gland function in this species. Coupled RT-PCR, Western blotting and immunocytochemical findings demonstrated the expression of Ob-Rb as mRNA and protein in the thyroid gland of normal rats. Prolonged leptin treatment raised thyroid-gland weight, and morphometry showed that in the enlarged glands the volume of the follicle epithelium was increased, while that of colloid remained unchanged, so that epithelium/colloid ratio was markedly lowered. In leptin-administered rats, the plasma concentration of TSH was decreased, while those of thyroid hormones (free T3 and total T4) were notably raised. Collectively, these findings suggest that systemically administered leptin stimulates growth and secretion of thyroid gland in the rat, through a direct mechanism involving Ob-Rb.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Animal Physiology and Biochemistry, University of Agriculture, Poznan, Poland

Publication date: January 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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