- Volume 2 Issue 2
Leptin, the product of the obese gene, is produced by adipose tissue and is known to be a hormone concerned with regulation of appetite and metabolism. Recent reports have shown that leptin is associated not only with obesity but also with female reproduction, but it has not yet been ascertained whether leptin acts directly on the ovaries or indirectly via the hypothalamus or pituitary pathway. The object of this study is to determine the expression of leptin and its receptor in the ovaries of 3 and 8 weeks old rats by immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR. In the ovaries of 3 and 8 weeks old rats, leptin was stained in the theca cells and portions of granulosa cells of atretic follicles, whereas leptin receptors was stained in interstitial cells and ova of preantral follicles. The RT-PCR results showed that leptin receptor mRNA was expressed in the ovaries of both immature and adult rats, while leptin mRNA was not. In conclusion, leptin mRNA was not expressed in the ovaries, however, leptin was detected by immunohistochemistry. Compared to leptin itself, leptin receptors in the ovaries were ascertained by both RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. These results suggest that leptin is related to the regulation of the physiological functions of the ovaries.