Effects of intracerebroventricular leptin administration on food intake, body weight gain and diencephalic nitric oxide synthase activity in the mouse

Gioacchino Calapai, Francesco Corica, Alessandro Allegra, Andrea Corsonello, Lidia Sautebin, Tiziana De Gregorio, Massimo Di Rosa, Giuseppina Costantino, Michele Buemi, Achille P. Caputi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


1. Intracranial administration of leptin reduces both food intake and body weight gain in the mouse. Inhibitors of nitric oxide (NO) synthase produce similar effects. 2. To investigate the role of the brain L-arginine/NO pathway in mediating this effect of leptin, we have evaluated food intake and body weight gain after daily (5 days) intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of leptin (0.5-2 μg) alone or in association with L-arginine (10 μg). Moreover, we measured diencephalic nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity after a single i.c.v. leptin (0.25-2 μg) injection and after consecutive doses of leptin (0.25-2 μg over 5 days. The time course of the effect of leptin on NOS activity was also evaluated. 3. I.c.v. injected leptin (1 and 2 μg) significantly and dose-dependently reduced food intake and body weight gain with respect to vehicle (food intake: 5.97 ± 0.16 g 24 h-1 and 4.27 ± 0.18 g 24 h-1, respectively, vs 8.05 ± 0.34 g 24 h-1, P <0.001, n = 6 for each group; body weight gain: -10.7 ± 0.46% and -15.2 ± 0.65%, respectively, vs 5.14 ± 0.38%, P <0.001, n = 6 for each group). This effect was antagonized by L-arginine (food intake: 7.90 ± 0.37 g 24 h; body weight gain: 5.11 ± 0.31%, n = 6). Diencephalic NOS activity was significantly reduced by the highest doses of leptin with respect to vehicle (vehicle: 0.90 ± 0.04 nmol citrulline min-1 g-1 tissue; leptin 1 μg: 0.62 ± 0.03 nmol citrulline min-1 g-1 tissue, P <0.001; leptin 2 μg: 0.44 ± 0.03 nmol citrulline min-1 g-1 tissue, P <0.001, n = 6 for each group). Similar results were obtained in animals treated with daily consecutive doses of leptin. The inhibitory effect appeared rapidly (within 30 min) and was long lasting (up to 12 h). 4. Our results suggest that the brain L-arginine/NO pathway may be involved in the central effect of leptin on feeding behaviour and body weight gain in mice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)798-802
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998



  • Body weight gain
  • Brain
  • Food intake
  • L-arginine
  • Leptin
  • Nitric oxide
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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