Authors: (Takashi Higuchi, Department of Integrative Physiology, Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, University of Fukui, Fukui, Japan)
Abstract: An under- or over-nutritional intrauterine environment and over-nutrition in early postnatal period is associated with long-term metabolic consequences, including obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes in adulthood. At least in rodents, leptin surge in neonatal pups may be involved in mediating this programming. Fetal under-nutrition results in reduced or premature leptin surge and maternal obesity induces exaggerated or premature leptin surge. Administration of leptin to neonatal pups to induce premature or supraphysiological leptin surge may cause hypothalamic programming that brings about metabolic abnormality in adulthood. Although there are many problems to be clarified, neonatal leptin surge may be involved in establishing hypothalamic neuronal system that controls food intake and energy expenditure.