Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Effiong Otukonyong

Committee Members

Burl Williams, Edward M. Onyango


Reports have linked energy balance along with adipocyte derived leptin action to improved fertility. Recent evidence indicates that leptin hormone is present in breast milk and leptin receptors are well expressed in mammary epithelial cells. The hypothesis that insufficiency of leptin restraint in the hypothalamus may underlie infertility in rodents and the failure of lactating breast to express adequate amount of milk was tested. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were injected leptin through intracerebroventricular cannulation (ICVC) of the third ventricle. Female rats were mated with stud males and observed throughout gestation. Compared to the control groups, leptin treatment increased prolactin levels in the dams and increased milk transfer to pup. Hypothalamic mRNA leptin levels and brain size in the offspring from leptin treated dams were significantly higher than the control. These findings support the involvement of leptin in reproduction and could lead to better understanding of leptin transfer from dam to offspring.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Endocrinology Commons