Definition: A helical protein secreted by adipose tissue and acting on a receptor site in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus to curb appetite and increase energy expenditure as body fat stores increase. Leptin levels are 40% higher in women, and show a further 50% rise just before menarche, later returning to baseline levels. Levels are lowered by fasting and increased by inflammation.
Synonym(s): OB protein
[G. leptos, thin, + -in]
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