Archive for the ‘Leptin’ Category

Bowl of Image via Wikipedia Sometimes we humans tend to think we’re pretty sophisticated, but let’s face it, once we’ve got a fridge full of food and a partner to mate with, most of us – like every other species – are pretty content. So it may seem reasonable, from an evolutionary standpoint, that a gene that regulates food intake and metabolism – leptin – would have wide-ranging effects on almost every physiological system in the human body including: immune, reproduction, endocrine, skeletal and CNS. A new PLoS ONE paper entitled, “Leptin Replacement Improves Cognitive Development” reports that administration of recombinant leptin to a 5-year-old boy with a nonconservative missense leptin gene mutation (Cys-to-Thr in codon 105) yields dramatic improvements in neurocognitive function. The open access paper describes the many known effects on leptin on neuronal plasticity and it is wonderful indeed to see its success when used as a therapeutic agent. That the development of so-called ‘higher’ cognitive function in humans is regulated by a small peptide secreted by fat cells may be an affront to some, but not me. “Honey, pass the chicken wings !”

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