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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2002

Body-weight changes are clearly reflected in plasma concentrations of leptin in female mink (Mustela vison)

Tauson AH, Forsberg M


The mink is a seasonal breeder with a propensity for seasonal fatness, and it is very responsive to changes in energy supply. The objectives of the present study were first, to validate a multispecies leptin assay for mink (Mustela vison) plasma, and second, to evaluate how plasma leptin and insulin concentrations responded to energy restriction and body-weight loss and refeeding with restoration of body reserves. The study was performed with six very fat yearling females (initial mean body weight 1451 (SD 119) g, i.e. approximately 300 g more than for a female in normal body condition). The animals were fed in restricted amounts (about 35 % metabolizable energy requirement for maintenance) in order to reach a very lean body condition. The target weight of 800 g was reached after about I month of restriction. The animals were then refed ad libitum until almost complete weight recovery. Blood samples were taken on days 1, 24, 34 (end of restriction), 44, 55 and 71 (end of experiment) and analysed for plasma concentrations of leptin and insulin. Three females were mated on day 44. Leptin and insulin concentrations mirrored each other and clearly reflected changes in body weight. Significant (P<0.001) Pearson correlation coefficients of 0.75 leptin-insulin), 0.72 (leptin-body weight) and 0.59 (insulin-body weight) were found. Two of the three females that were mated gave birth to normal litters. It was concluded that the leptin assay yielded acceptable results for animals with body weight:fat content within the range investigated here, and that plasma leptin reflected body fat mass

Published in

British Journal of Nutrition
2002, Volume: 87, number: 2, pages: 101-105

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science
    Veterinary Science

    Publication identifier


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