Leptin expression in the rat ovary depends on estrous cycle
Leptin is a hormone originally identified in adipocytes. It is involved in the regulation of fat deposition and energy expenditure and in other functions, such as reproduction. The presence of leptin has been reported in several reproductive organs. However, few studies have addressed its expression in the ovary.
Moreover, the existing information is not consistent with regard to the particular cell types responsible for leptin expression. In this work we studied the distribution of leptin in the rat ovary by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and in situ hybridization (ISH). Leptin staining was found in steroid-producing cells: thecal, luteal, and interstitial cells. The strongest signal with both techniques was found in the cytoplasm of oocytes. A weak reaction for leptin mRNA was detected in granulosa of all growing follicles, although leptin protein was found only in the mature follicle. Western blotting analysis detects a strongly reactive 16-kD band, giving further support to the presence of leptin in the rat ovary.
Variations in this immunoreactive band were found throughout the estrous cycle. Localization of leptin in the ovary may contribute to a better understanding of female reproductive function.
CITATION J Histochem Cytochem. 2003 Oct;51(10):1269-77