Leptin, a tool of parasites?
2012 (English)In: Biology Letters, ISSN 1744-9561, E-ISSN 1744-957X, Vol. 8, no 5, 849-852 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
One common physiological phenomenon that is involved both in infectious and in malignant processes is the reduction in appetite: disease anorexia. An increase in plasma levels of leptin with inflammation is thought to be involved in this process. However, from an evolutionary perspective, in certain cases, it would be more adaptive for an internal parasite to stimulate the appetite of the host instead of causing its suppression. We tested whether a parasitic infection with the larvae of the helminth parasite Taenia taeniaformis affects the levels of appetite-regulating proteins, such as leptin, ghrelin and neuropeptide-Y (NPY) in wild yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis). We found that infected mice had lower plasma levels of leptin and increased levels of NPY than the uninfected subjects. Ghrelin levels were not associated with the occurrence of the parasites; however, these levels strongly correlated with the levels of NPY. This study suggests a possible manipulation by parasitic larvae of appetite regulation in infected subjects.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 8, no 5, 849-852 p.
disease anorexia, parasite, appetite, appetite-regulating peptides, yellow-necked mouse
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-183542DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2012.0385ISI: 000308789200044OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-183542DiVA: diva2:575109