• craniofacial growth;
  • leptin;
  • obesity

Structured Abstract

Authors – Yagasaki Y, Yamaguchi T, Watahiki J, Konishi M, Katoh H, Maki K.

Objectives – To elucidate the role of leptin on maxillo-facial morphological growth using hereditary obesity model ob/ob mice, and to examine the presence of the leptin receptor gene expression in the mouse condylar head cartilage.

Design – Leptin was intraperitoneally administered once a day in 10 C57BL/6J (lean) and 10 C57BL/6J-ob (ob/ob) mice (leptin administration group), and phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) in 10 lean and 10 ob/ob mice (PBS administration group), between the fifth and 11th week after birth. The amount of fat, the body amount without fat, the rate of body fat, and the width of the condylar cervical area were measured during the11th week, and roentgenographic cephalometric analysis was performed at the fifth, eighth, and 11th week. Furthermore, the condylar head cartilage in C57BL/6J mice was stereoscopically excised to extract total RNA, and RT-PCR method was performed regarding the leptin receptor gene.

Results – The body fat amount in ob/ob mice with leptin production insufficiency was greater than that in lean mice, and significant differences were noted in every measurement item regarding maxillo-facial morphology. Recovery of bone length was noted in ob/ob mice by administering leptin. Furthermore, the expression of the leptin receptor gene in the condylar head cartilage was confirmed.

Conclusion – Exogenous leptin administration leads to significant increases in craniofacial dimensions; and leptin receptors are expressed in mandibular condylar cartilage. These results indicate an important role for leptin in craniofacial growth and morphology. We speculate that leptin's direct peripheral effect on bone and cartilage is closely involved in this role.