Pico C (1), Jilkova ZM (2), Kus V (2), Palou A (1), Kopecky  J (2)
Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Dec;94(6 Suppl):1830S-1837S


(1) Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Nutrition and Biotechnology (Nutrigenomics), University of the Balearic Islands, and CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERobn), Palma de Mallorca, Spain
(2) Department of Adipose Tissue Biology, Institute of Physiology Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic vvi, Prague 4, Czech Republic


Breastfeeding, compared with infant-formula feeding, confers later protection against obesity. Leptin represents a candidate for the programming of the lean phenotype as suggested by 1) the presence of leptin in breast milk and its absence in infant formula, 2) a human study that showed a negative correlation between leptin concentrations in breast milk and body weights of infants until 2 y of age, and 3) intervention studies in animals. Milk-borne leptin and leptin synthesized in adipose tissue and the stomach may contribute to leptinemia in newborns. Studies in rodents suggested that early leptin treatment may program either a lean or obese phenotype, probably depending on the dose, route of administration, and timing of exposure to high leptin concentrations, whereas these studies also suggested the importance of the physiologic postnatal surge in leptinemia for the programming effect. Leptin oral administration at physiologic doses to neonate rats during the entire lactation period had later positive effects that prevented the animals from overweight and obesity and other metabolic alterations, which were particularly associated with feeding of a high-fat diet. High leptin sensitivity, which is associated with leanness, and leptin resistance in obesity may be programmed by the early life environment. The differential sensitivity to leptin implies a contribution of leptin-inducible energy expenditure to the adult phenotype. Available data have suggested the involvement of nonshivering thermogenesis induced by a leptin-AMP-activated protein kinase axis in oxidative muscles, which is based on lipid metabolism. Additional studies on the programming effects of leptin, mainly in response to the oral intake of leptin, are required.

Event date: 04/05/2011

Publication date: 01/06/2012