Leucine supplementation improves leptin sensitivity in high-fat diet fed rats
Background: Several studies have reported the favorable effect of leucine supplementation on insulin resistance or insulin sensitivity. However, whether or not leucine supplementation improves leptin sensitivity remains unclear.
Design: Forty-eight male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed with either a high-fat diet (HFD) or HFD supplemented with 1.5, 3.0, and 4.5% leucine for 16 weeks. At the end of the experiment, serum leptin level was measured by ELISA, and leptin receptor (ObR) in the hypothalamus was examined by immunohistochemistry. The protein expressions of ObR and leptin-signaling pathway in adipose tissues were detected by western blot.
Results: No significant differences in body weight and food/energy intake existed among the four groups. Serum leptin levels were significantly lower, and ObR expression in the hypothalamus and adipose tissues was significantly higher in the three leucine groups than in the control group. These phenomena suggested that leptin sensitivity was improved in the leucine groups. Furthermore, the expressions of JAK2 and STAT3 (activated by ObR) were significantly higher, and that of SOCS3 (inhibits leptin signaling) was significantly lower in the three leucine groups than in the control group.
Conclusions: Leucine supplementation improves leptin sensitivity in rats on HFD likely by promoting leptin signaling.
Keywords: leptin sensitivity; leptin signaling; leucine; high-fat diet
(Published: 25 June 2015)
Citation: Food & Nutrition Research 2015, 59: 27373 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v59.27373
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Authors retain copyright of their work, with first publication rights granted to SNF Swedish Nutrition Foundation.