Neuroendocrine consequences of fasting in adult male macaques: Effects of recombinant rhesus macaque leptin infusion

Joaquin Lado-Abeal, John R. Hickox, Tony L. Cheung, Johannes D. Veldhuis, Daniel M. Hardy, Reid L. Norman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Fasting inhibits the gonadotropic axis and stimulates the corticotropic and somatotropic axes. Since leptin is a product of fat cells that has been implicated in the control of both reproduction and metabolism we hypothesized that the decrease in leptin observed during fasting was responsible for these effects on reproductive and metabolic hormones. Recombinant rhesus leptin (rrhLep) produced in our laboratory was infused (100 μg/h) into fasted adult male rhesus macaques (6-9 kg) beginning at midnight after the first missed meal and continuing until the end of the study. Bioactive luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone, cortisol and growth hormone (GH) were measured in plasma from samples collected at 15-min intervals for the last 15 h (42-57 h) of the fast. We analyzed pulsatile LH and GH secretion by deconvolution analysis and the orderliness of pulsatile LH and GH release by the approximate entropy (ApEn) statistic. There was no difference in LH pulse frequency between control and fasted groups, but there was a significant decrease in the mean concentration of LH released (7.6 ± 1.4 ng/ml control vs. 2.7 ± 0.65 ng/ml fasted) that was not relieved with rrhLep infusions 12.8 ± 0.83 ng/ml). Model-free Cluster analysis confirmed these inferences and also indicated that the peak height was lower in the fasted (4.6 ± 1.0 ng/ml) and the fasted + rrhLep (2.85 ± 1.6 ng/ml) groups compared to controls (16.3 ± 1.4 ng/ml). Testosterone levels reflected those of LH. Fasting resulted in an increase in GH secretory pulse frequency (5.3 ± 0.95 pulses/15 h control vs. 12.8 ± 1.4 pulses/15 h fasted) and this increase was not affected by rrhLep infusion (12.5 ± 1.4 pulses/15 h),. In addition, fasting also increased the ApEn (decreased the orderliness) of pulsatile GH secretion, and this characteristic was not relieved with rrhLep infusions. Cortisol levels in fasted animals were 2- to 3-fold higher than those observed in control studies, and this increase was particularly pronounced at the time when the animals expected their first meal of the day. The increase in circulating cortisol observed in fasted animals was not affected by rrhLep infusion. Glucose levels at the end of the sampling period were 80 mg/dl in controls, 48 mg/dl in fasted animals and 58 mg/dl in the fasted + rrhLep group. Circulating leptin levels averaged 1.2 ± 0.37 ng/ml in control animals, 0.7 ± 0.2 ng/ml in fasted animals and 10.1 ± 5.6 ng/ml in fasted animals infused with rrhLep. These studies suggest that intravenous replacement with homologous leptin does not reverse the acute changes in GH, LH and cortisol secretion observed with fasting in the adult male macaque. Copyright (C) 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-208
Number of pages13
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000


  • Adrenal steroids
  • Food deprivation
  • Gonadal steroids
  • Gonadotropins
  • Growth hormone
  • Leptin
  • Macaques
  • Primates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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