Leptin depresses food intake in great tits (Parus major)

Mare Lõhmus, L. Fredrik Sundström, Mohammed El Halawani, Bengt Silverin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

Food availability for wild organisms typically varies both in time and space, requiring a mechanism that regulates the storage of excess energy and makes it possible to use stores during energy shortfall. Leptin, a protein hormone encoded by an obesity gene, has been suggested to be the signal mediator for this flux of energy. In a controlled laboratory experiment on caged great tits (Parus major) we evaluated the effect of leptin on food intake and behaviour. Experimental birds were given an intramuscular injection of 10μg leptin dissolved in phosphate buffered saline (PBS), while the control birds were injected with PBS only at 09:00h after a night's fasting. Within the first 20min after injections we observed a significant difference in food intake between groups: control birds initially fed at higher rates compared to leptin treated birds. The cumulative food intake suggested that the effect of leptin disappeared after approximately 40-50min post-injections. Similar results have previously been found in domesticated chickens. To our knowledge, this is the first study to show that leptin depresses food intake in wild birds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-61
Number of pages5
JournalGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology
Volume131
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are very grateful to Dr. A.F. Parlow from the National Hormone and Peptide Program for supplying leptin and Stephen Whiting for arranging the leptin transport over the Atlantic Ocean. Mats Troedsson made useful comments on an early version of the manuscript. We would also like to thank Ebba and Sven Schwartz Foundation for financial support.

Copyright:
Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Feeding
  • Food intake
  • Great tit
  • Leptin
  • Passeridae
  • Passeriformes

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