Leptin increases striatal dopamine D2 receptor binding in leptin-deficient obese (ob/ob) mice

Jennifer Pfaffly, Michael Michaelides, Gene Jack Wang, Jeffrey E. Pessin, Nora D. Volkow, Panayotis K. Thanos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations


Peripheral and central leptin administration have been shown to mediate central dopamine (DA) signaling. Leptin-receptor deficient rodents show decreased DA D2 receptor (D2R) binding in striatum and unique DA profiles compared to controls. Leptin-deficient mice show increased DA activity in reward-related brain regions. The objective of this study was to examine whether basal D2R-binding differences contribute to the phenotypic behaviors of leptin-deficient ob/ob mice, and whether D2R binding is altered in response to peripheral leptin treatment in these mice. Leptin decreased body weight, food intake, and plasma insulin concentration in ob/ob mice but not in wild-type mice. Basal striatal D2R binding (measured with autoradiography [3H] spiperone) did not differ between ob/ob and wild-type mice but the response to leptin did. In wild-type mice, leptin decreased striatal D2R binding, whereas, in ob/ob mice, leptin increased D2R binding. Our findings provide further evidence that leptin modulates D2R expression in striatum and that these effects are genotype/phenotype dependent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-510
Number of pages8
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • Autoradiography
  • B-imager
  • Food
  • Insulin
  • Obesity
  • Reward

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

Pfaffly, J., Michaelides, M., Wang, G. J., Pessin, J. E., Volkow, N. D., & Thanos, P. K. (2010). Leptin increases striatal dopamine D2 receptor binding in leptin-deficient obese (ob/ob) mice. Synapse, 64(7), 503-510. https://doi.org/10.1002/syn.20755