Leptin regulation of hippocampal synaptic function in health and disease

Andrew J. Irving, Jenni Harvey (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    87 Citations (Scopus)


    The endocrine hormone leptin plays a key role in regulating food intake and body weight via its actions in the hypothalamus. However, leptin receptors are highly expressed in many extra-hypothalamic brain regions and evidence is growing that leptin influences many central processes including cognition. Indeed, recent studies indicate that leptin is a potential cognitive enhancer as it markedly facilitates the cellular events underlying hippocampal-dependent learning and memory, including effects on glutamate receptor trafficking, neuronal morphology and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. However, the ability of leptin to regulate hippocampal synaptic function markedly declines with age and aberrant leptin function has been linked to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, we review the evidence supporting a cognitive enhancing role for the hormone leptin and discuss the therapeutic potential of using leptin-based agents to treat AD.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number20130155
    JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences
    Issue number1633
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


    • Leptin
    • Hippocampus
    • AMPA receptor trafficking
    • Alzheimer's disease


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