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Investigations into the involvement of leptin in responses to stress

Haleem, Darakhshan J.

Behavioural Pharmacology:
doi: 10.1097/FBP.0000000000000050
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Abstract

Stress is defined as a state that can threaten homeostasis in an organism to initiate the adaptive process. Stress mediators, which include the classic neuroendocrine hormones and a number of neurotransmitters, cytokines, and growth factors, regulate both basal and threatened homeostasis to help control the stress. Severity of stress, as well as malfunctioning of stress pathways, may impair its controllability, leading to the pathogenesis of psychiatric illnesses including depression. Leptin was initially identified as an antiobesity hormone, acting as a negative feedback adiposity signal to control energy homeostasis by binding to its receptors in the hypothalamus. Accumulating evidence has expanded the function of leptin from the control of energy balance to the regulation of other physiological and psychological processes. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the potential role of leptin in stress controllability. To this end, studies on the role of leptin in stress-induced activation of the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenocortical axis, feeding behavior, learned helplessness, and other depression models have been accumulated. The knowledge accumulated in this article may facilitate the development of alternative treatment strategies, beyond serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibition, for psychiatric care and stress-related disorders.

Author Information

Neuroscience Research Laboratory, Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), International Center for Chemical and Biological Science (ICCBS), University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan

Correspondence to Darakhshan J. Haleem, PhD, Neuroscience Research Laboratory, Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), International Center for Chemical and Biological Science (ICCBS), University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan E-mails: darakhshan_haleem@yahoo.com, djhaleem@uok.edu.pk

Received January 22, 2014

Accepted May 16, 2014

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins