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Relationship between plasma leptin-like protein levels, begging and provisioning in nestling thin-billed prions Pachyptila belcheri
Quillfeldt, P.; Everaert, N.; Buyse, J.; Masello, J.F.; Dridi, S. (2009). Relationship between plasma leptin-like protein levels, begging and provisioning in nestling thin-billed prions Pachyptila belcheri. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 161(2): 171-178. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2008.12.006
In: General and Comparative Endocrinology. Elsevier: New York,. ISSN 0016-6480, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Procellariiformes [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    Leptin; Begging; Provisioning; Obesity; Procellariiformes

Authors  Top 
  • Quillfeldt, P.
  • Everaert, N.
  • Buyse, J.
  • Masello, J.F.
  • Dridi, S.

Abstract
    While there have been many studies in various species examining the physiological role of leptin, there are so far no data in free-living seabirds. In the present study, we assess whether leptin is expressed in thin-billed prions (Pachyptila belcheri) and we investigate its relationship with feeding-related parameters including body condition, begging intensities and provisioning rates. We showed by Western Blot analysis using leptin-specific antibody that leptin-like protein (14–16 kDa) is expressed in adipose tissue and liver of nestling thin-billed prions. Plasma leptin-like protein levels, determined by RIA, were in the same range (1–3 ng/ml) as in other avian species and increased with age. In two breeding seasons, the plasma leptin-like protein levels were negatively correlated with provisioning rates (R = −0.67 and −0.35 in 2003 and 2004, respectively, P < 0.05) indicating that endogenous leptin may be an anorexigenic hormone in wild birds. Plasma leptin-like protein levels were positively correlated with begging intensities (R = 0.43 and 0.37 in 2003 and 2004, respectively, P < 0.05), and this may be because hungry nestling seabird chicks with low body conditions increased their begging intensities. Plasma leptin-like protein levels did not correlate either with plasma triglyceride or glucose levels in thin-billed prions. Overall, these findings show the presence of leptin-like protein in free-living seabirds and provide new insights into its function and its possible role in feeding-associated behaviours.

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