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leptin

Pronunciation: lep'tin

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]

Further information

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.

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