Porter LM, Alenciks E, Frazier K, Porter A, Fraley GS (2015) Lack of effects on growth and body weight gain after elimination of the leptin receptor from the brain of immature Pekin drakes. Neuroscience 2015 Abstracts 613.04/R19. Society for Neuroscience, Chicago IL.
Summary: The presence of the hormone leptin (LEP) is a controversial topic in the field of avian physiology. While LEP is well understood in mammals, the hormone has not been definitively verified in avian species. Although the hormone remains elusive, the leptin receptor (LEPR) has been identified and sequenced in multiple avian species. Its role, however, remains unclear. To attempt to deduce the role of the leptin system in birds, we focused on altering the leptin receptor expression in the brain of immature Pekin ducks. We hypothesized that eliminating the LEPR-expressing neurons of the hypothalamus would elicit an increase in body weight, as is the case for mammals. To test this hypothesis, we injected stereotaxically 3 ul of a solution containing a monoclonal antibody (anti-LEPR) conjugated to saporin (LSAP, 100 ng/ul) was injected into the lateral ventricle of 10 day old Pekin ducks (LSAP, N = 10). Control group animals (SAP) were injected with unconjugated antibody and saporin at equimolar concentrations to the LSAP. Ducks were weighed weekly starting at 3 days of age. After a final weight was obtained at 50 days of age, ducks were euthanized and a blood sample was collected and sent out for an avian panel to assay serum glucose and free fatty acids. We found that the elimination of LEPR had no significant effect on the body weights of the ducks (p>0.05). In addition, The CBC panel did not reveal any significant differences in the overall health of the ducks in each treatment group. Our data indicates LEPR may not play a significant role in the regulation of body weight or growth in juvenile ducks.